Texas bill cuts HIV funding, boosts abstinence education

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas would cut $3 million in state funds for programs to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and put that money toward abstinence education under a Republican-sponsored measure advanced by the state House.

The GOP-controlled House approved the measure 97-47 on Tuesday after a contentious debate with Democrats that veered into the unusually personal.

GOP state Rep. Stuart Spitzer, a doctor and the bill’s sponsor, at one point defended the budget amendment by telling the Texas House that he practiced abstinence until marriage. The first-term lawmaker says he hopes schoolchildren follow his example, saying, “What’s good for me is good for a lot of people.”

The measure is a long way from final approval.

Texas in 2013 had the third-highest number of HIV diagnoses in the country.

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