Law Requiring Contraception Education Passes Illinois Senate
By Prescott Carlson in News on May 26, 2011 7:00PM
Photo by Writing on the Wall
HB3027 amends the School Code and the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act, and states that any sex education provided to 6th through 12th grade "shall include instruction on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS." The bill does state that sex education should still "emphasize that abstinence... is the only protection that is 100% effective against unwanted teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome when transmitted sexually." Parents/guardians will have the right to review all sex education instructional materials.
The bill, which just squeaked through with a 30-28 vote, also defines the definition of a "dropout," as well as introducing new rules concerning districts and schools obtaining comprehensive criminal history records for potential employees, applying to all teachers in both public and private schools "recognized by the State Board of Education."
Approximately 60% of Illinois students already receive information regarding contraceptives in their sex education classes, and the U.S. Congress cut federal funding for abstinence-only education programs by $14 million in 2009.
The passing of the bill troubled several state Republicans including Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington), who was quoted as saying that "teaching students anything more than abstinence would encourage them to engage in sex" and that the law "would do the opposite of what we want -- increase pregnancies and increase the frequency of STDs."
The bill now moves to a vote in the House.