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Afternoon Round-Up: GA, MO, and Kenya

Rachel Hart,
Reproductive Freedom Project
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July 12, 2006

Georgia: On Friday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution published an editorial by Linda Klepacki of Focus on the Family about the HPV vaccine. The piece focuses on the ability to opt-out of the vaccine if it ever becomes mandatory. A letter to the editor (last item) in response to Klepacki’s piece notes that our daughters shouldn’t be punished to prove a point about the importance of abstinence.Missouri: An op-ed in The Examiner calls on the Board of Education in Independence, MO, to thoroughly review “Choosing the Best” before adopting the curriculum for health classes. The author points out that the curriculum uses a fear- and shame-based approach towards teaching about sexuality, contains medical inaccuracies, and asks schools who use the text not to teach any supplemental information:

Not only does “Choosing the Best,” ask an abstinence pledge from the students, it requires that the school district pledge abstinence from teaching anything not in that curriculum. The district could not add information from another source to correct the insufficiency of the contraception information

And finally, AFP has an article about sex education (or the lack there of) in Kenya. The article contains some sobering statistics:

Many teenage pregnancies in Kenya — where 55 percent of its 33 million people are under 19, according to a 2003 study — are blamed on lack of information about sex and traditions that inhibit discussions of sex with children.According to that study, more than 25 percent of Kenyan girls between 15 and 19 are either pregnant or are mothers and 85 percent of all 15- to 19-year-olds and 72 percent of those between 20 and 24 do not use contraceptives.In addition, 70 percent of all adolescents engage in unprotected sex. About 1.2 million Kenyans are HIV positive and some 1.5 million people have died of HIV/AIDS since 1984, it says.