Friday, May 24, 2013

Illinois Bans Abstinence-Only "Education"

From the Chicago Tribune
Illinois public schools that teach sex education will be required to provide information about birth control under a measure the Senate sent to Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday. 
The legislation is a change from current policy, where abstinence is the only requirement for schools with sex ed classes. The measure was approved on a 37-21 vote and needed 30 to pass. 
Supporters argue that abstinence-only education is not effective and students should be taught about other methods of birth control and protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Opponents contend abstinence-only education should remain the norm in schools, saying parents should decide how to educate their kids about sex. 
Sponsoring Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, said the measure still would require schools to teach that abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy and disease, while at the same time allowing "students to make healthy decisions for themselves."
Studies have shown that states with abstinence-only education also have higher rates of teen pregnancy and STI transmission. The phrase "abstinence-only education" in and of itself is an oxymoron. How can you call it accurate education if accurate information is purposefully withheld from the students? It's like having a geometry class where you don't talk about circles. 

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