Rachel Hart,
Reproductive Freedom Project
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July 5, 2006

It has been almost a week since I last posted, and in that time there’s been no shortage of news reports on the battle between comprehensive sex ed and ab-only programs.

Campus Progress calls on politicians who promote ab-only-until-marriage programs to require that their interns sign pledges to abstain in Abstainers-Only Need Apply. The article mentions that a group called the Independent Women’s Forum commissioned a study on the sexual activity of interns on Capitol Hill. I’m sort of curious as to what the ultimate aim of the study was.

Alabama: A local TV channel examines the tightrope that teachers walk between educating students and complying with ab-only guidelines in that state. The Greenville News also has an article about the review process for sex-ed textbooks. The curriculum “Decisions for Health” was approved in that county. I’m not familiar with it and am looking to see if I can find more information about the text.

Arizona: Last week I reported that a school district in Tempe was grappling with the issue of adding more information to the current sex ed curriculum for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. On Friday the Arizona Republic published two letters-to-the-editor in support of comprehensive sex ed. One says that “students [should be given] a wide range of tools to make the best decisions in their lives,” while the other says that “[t]o kid ourselves that they [our children] remain innocent by the sixth, seventh or eighth grade is to be negligent in our parental responsibilities. If anything, they should be given more information as early as possible.”

Massachusetts: Three women in Lynn share their concerns with the local school board about the ab-only curriculum taught in Lynn public schools.

New York: The Healthy Teens Act in New York failed to pass the Assembly. The advocates for comprehensive sex ed vow to return to Albany next year and resume their fight.

Ohio: A letter-to-the-editor in the Springfield News-Sun (2nd item) says that ab-only programs make sex “taboo” and endanger teens by not teaching them how to protect themselves from pregnancy and STDs.

South Carolina: The Beaufort Gazette publishes a letter-to-the-editor that notes that abstinence only works when someone abstains and that we don’t live in “a perfect world.”

Wisconsin: A local TV station reports that abstinence will now be stressed in sex-ed classes. The article doesn’t have much information on the details of the law or what is currently taught in that state. I’m looking for more information.