SEX ED: Opposition Stalls Bill
Despite its simple premise, AB 246, a bill that would require all sex education programs to teach "medically accurate" information, has encountered stiff opposition, slowing its passage in the California Legislature, a Sacramento Bee editorial asserts. Sponsored by Assemblyman Jim Cunneen (R), the bill was introduced after reports that California school districts were incorrectly teaching students that AIDS can be transmitted through tears and that "condoms fail to prevent nearly a third of all HIV infections." It seeks to ensure curricula are supported by scientifically-conducted research that is "recognized as accurate and objective by professional organizations." However, the measure has "encountered bitter opposition from the Capitol Resource Institute, a Sacramento-based conservative lobbying group, and California Right to Life," which claim that the bill "attacks abstinence." Yet, the editorial points out, the bill leaves previously developed sex education requirements -- such as the mandate to teach abstinence as the surest protection against pregnancy and STDs -- unchanged. The editorial concludes: "No matter what legislators say about sex in state laws, thousands of California teens will still have it. They should of course be encouraged to abstain. But when they don't they should be armed with accurate and complete information about how to protect themselves" (Sacramento Bee, 6/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.