A bill to authorize federal funding for comprehensive, medically accurate sex education programs was introduced yesterday by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA). The bill, the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, would create a grant program for comprehensive sex education programs that would provide medically accurate, age appropriate information about both contraception and abstinence. Currently, there are three federally funded programs that support abstinence-only programs.
In a press release, Senator Lautenberg said “Growing up isn’t easy and our young people find themselves in tough situations every day. They need all the information to make smart choices, and abstinence-only’ programs simply aren’t working. It’s time for our nation’s young people to get the education they need to take on the real life situations facing them every day.”
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a press release: “Abstinence-only education has failed our young people. Our country has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies among the most developed countries in the world, an alarming number of teenage girls at least one in four has a sexually transmitted infection, and an estimated 750,000 teenagers will become pregnant this year. The REAL Act is commonsense legislation that will help our young people prevent unintended pregnancy, protect their health and make responsible decisions.”