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Comprehensive Sex Education Legislation Introduced in Texas

Legislation was introduced in the Texas state legislature Monday that would require the state’s public schools to teach comprehensive sex education. The legislation, entitled the Texas Education Works Act, aims to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates and requires “complete, medically accurate and age-appropriate” information in the curriculum, according to the Dallas Morning News.

According to the El Paso Times, currently Texas schools are required to focus primarily on abstinence, but do address some information on contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases.

Democratic state Senator Rodney Ellis, who co-authored the bill, told the Daily Texan that “Only through information will teens have the tools they need to make responsible decisions… It is true that abstinence is the only 100-percent way to avoid STIs and pregnancy, but experience has also taught us that abstinence from education does not work.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 30,000 girls in Texas between the ages of 15 and 17 became pregnant in 2004, the most recent year from which data is available.

Sources:

Dallas Morning News 3/3/09; El Paso Times 3/3/09; Daily Texan 3/3/09; Centers for Disease Control