Wisconsin Republicans aren’t just going after the pill, they’ve re-energized around a push to overturn the Healthy Youth Act which requires comprehensive sexual education in favor of abstinence-only education.
The push first emerged last year when Wisconsin State Senator Mary Lazich introduced the repeal effort, a bill that passed the Wisconsin Senate 17-15 just before the 2011 holiday break. Now a companion bill with nearly identical language must mast the Assembly and if it does Republican Gov. Scott Walker is all but certain to sign it.
AB 337 is the bill making its way through the Assembly and specifically removes from the existing law discussion of puberty, pregnancy, parenting, body image, gender stereotypes, contraceptive education include health benefits and proper use.
Not only does the bill remove safe-sex education it specifically modifies the definition for what is considered “medically accurate information” to a broad definition that grants religious conservatives cover to teach medically inaccurate information in support of their abstinence-only agenda.
The bill is expected to easily pass the Assembly.
Abstinence-only education efforts have been a tremendous public health failure. Their ineffectiveness at preventing teenage pregnancy and reducing the spread of disease is well documented and accepted by everyone but religious conservatives. Yet here we are again, debating whether science or religion will dictate health policy.
Photo from robertelyov via flickr.