Legislation to federally fund comprehensive, medically accurate sex education in public schools was introduced in both chambers of Congress on Tuesday. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey and Rep. Barbara Lee of California, both Democrats, submitted the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, "A bill to provide for the reduction of adolescent pregnancy, HIV rates, and other sexually transmitted diseases, and for other purposes."
At the moment, federal funding for sex education is available only to states teaching abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that prohibit discussion of condom use and other forms of contraception. According to the Human Rights Campaign, the federal government has spent more than $1 billion providing funding to abstinence-only programs whose federal guidelines mandate defining marriage as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as a husband and wife."
HRC president Joe Solmonese said, “Our nation’s youth deserve the facts about how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The federal government has tied states’ hands when it comes to providing prevention education to teens.”
The bill has five cosponsors in the Senate and 27 in the House and has been referred to the committee of jurisdiction in both chambers for review.
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