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And Iowa makes 17 . . .

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March 5, 2008

If Friday being a leap-day wasn’t already reason to celebrate, it was also the day Iowa became the 17th state to publicly reject Title V funding used to support abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. This decision follows the passing of a bill last year that required sex education in Iowa to be medically and scientifically based.In Mullica Hills, NJ, the battle rages on over peer sex education in high school, as discussed in last week’s blog. Yet both nationally and locally, these parents are by far the minority. For example, in North Carolina, 90 percent of parents support comprehensive sex ed, yet few parents realized that their school’s sex ed programs have been replaced by abstinence-only curricula.Thankfully, some parents have taken notice, such as the group of parents in Cumberland County who join several other county-based parent groups to fight abstinence-only programming in their schools. Other steps are being taken as well: public educators, shamed by the state’s high teen pregnancy rates, have begun looking at alternatives to abstinence-only approaches. One program that has received an extremely positive response from parents and educators is Teen PEP, the same program that has raised controversy in Mullica Hills.

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