Adolescent Family Life Act (1981)
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The 1981 Adolescent Family Life Act, or AFLA, is a US federal law that provides federal funding to public and nonprofit private organizations to counsel adolescents to abstain from sex until marriage. AFLA was included under the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981, which the US Congress signed into law that same year. Through the AFLA, the US Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, funded a variety of sex education programs for adolescents to address the social and economic ramifications associated with pregnancy and childbirth among unmarried adolescents. AFLA received several criticisms for directly emphasizing and funding abstinence-only education programs from religious organizations. However, when US citizen Chan Kendrick brought the case Bowen v. Kendrick before the Supreme Court in 1988, the Court upheld that AFLA was constitutional. Although numerous evaluations have shown minimal scientific evidence supporting abstinence-only education, as of 2020, the federal government still provides funding for such programs through AFLA.