A competitive $1.2 million grant was awarded to two professors at North Dakota State University-Fargo, by the Department of Health and Human Services. The grant funds were to be used on a voluntary program to educate high-risk teenagers in the Fargo area on how they can reduce their risk for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's) and unwanted pregnancies. Under pressure from the State Legislature, the university president froze the funds. The decision to release or return the funds now rests with the University President and the Chancellor of the university system. Between 1991 and 2008, there were approximately 13,000 teen births in North Dakota, costing taxpayers a total of $300 million over that period. Forty-five percent of high school students in North Dakota are sexually active. This program is critical to help teenagers learn sexual responsibility.
We respectfully request that you immediately unfreeze the federal grant for comprehensive sexuality education and allow this important work to continue.