Real Republicans Take the Lead on Prevention and Planning Bill in SC

This week a piece of pro-choice preventive healthcare legislation that has been stalled in a South Carolina house subcommittee for over a year passed a key hurdle and is now headed for a full house vote. This Republican-led comprehensive sex-education bill, introduced last year by two Republican state Representatives, B.R. Skelton and Jenny Horne, would update the state’s outdated sex education law and ensure students will be given medically accurate information, that includes but is not limited to abstinence education, and instructed by certified health teachers. South Carolina’s existing abstinence-only sex education program hasn’t been updated in nearly three decades.

Currently, South Carolina has the 3rd highest incidence of STI’s in teen and the 11th highest rate of teen pregnancies in the nation at 36.5 births per every 1,000 for girls 15- to 19-year-old. And if that wasn’t enough evidence of a need for reform, the state spends upwards of $200 million yearly on the repercussions of teen pregnancy.”I felt that there might be something we could do about it,” said Republican Representative Skelton. “When we learned about the kinds of information that was being provided, then it was even more important for us, I think, to take the bill up and bring us into the 21st century.”

This week the hotly contested bill was heavily debated before passing Republican-majority House Education and Public Works Committee, 10-6.  Republican Representative Ralph Norman emphasized the commonsense nature of this bill. At Republican Majority for Choice we also believe families are the best and first option to educate their children about sex, but “the reality” noted Republican Representative Ralph Norman, is that many students do not receive this education at home. “I agree abstinence is the best way,” said Representative Norman.  “But do you think abstinence is being practiced now by a majority of our high-school sophomores, juniors, seniors and college (students)? No.”

These commonsense reforms will send a “very direct message” to students “because children now don’t understand what they’re doing when they’re having sex,” Norman said. RMC applauds these Real Republican legislators for taking a stand for commonsense legislation that will encourage responsibility among young people and save taxpayer dollars.

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