Bowen v. Kendrick (1988)
On 29 June 1988, in Bowen v. Kendrick, the US Supreme Court ruled in a five-to-four decision that the 1981 Adolescent Family Life Act, or AFLA, was constitutional. Under AFLA, the US government could distribute federal funding for abstinence-only sexual education programs, oftentimes given to groups with religious affiliations. As a federal taxpayer, Chan Kendrick challenged the constitutionality of AFLA, claiming it violated the separation of church and state. The Supreme Court found that although AFLA funded programs that aligned with certain religious ideologies, it was constitutional because it did not encourage government involvement in religion, and it held a valid secular purpose in seeking to prevent adolescent pregnancy and premarital sexual relations. By upholding AFLA, Bowen v. Kendrick enabled the US government to continue funding abstinence-only education, which researchers have found to be ineffective.