Abstinence-plus Sex-Ed New Norm for ILPosted: August 21, 2013
Thanks to a new bill, comprehensive sex-education that includes abstinence education will be the new norm in Illinois classrooms. Prior to the implementation of this bill, the state lacked any uniform sex-education curriculum and as much as 35 percent of the state relied on abstinence-only education or offered no sex-ed at all. On August 16, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) signed into law the comprehensive sex education bill that passed earlier this summer with bipartisan support. A number of mainstream Republican legislators, including Senate Minority leader Christine Radongno (R-Lemont), were outspoken advocates for this commonsense legislation. This new law will require that public school students attend classes that include lessons about contraception and sexually transmitted infections, while acknowledging that abstinence is “a responsible and positive decision.” Under this law schools can still opt to not offer sex education, but they cannot offer abstinence-only courses. Additionally, parents may choose to opt-out of these comprehensive sex-ed classes. Abstinence-plus comprehensive sex education is an important step to stemming the growing rate of sexually transmitted diseases nationwide, as well as combating high rates of unintended and teen pregnancy. It is a cost-efficient and proven-effective policy with positive results for all American families.