Utahns want comprehensive sex education, but the Utah Legislature won't hear the options. A house committee voted against releasing the bill to the full house, with some members openly refusing to even consider the issue. The bill was killed in House Education Committee last night, by a vote of 11-2 even thought 64% of Utahns support the provisions.
Representative Brian King provided some interesting facts to the committee:
• Chlamydia rates have increased 49.2% from 2004 to 2014.
• Gonorrhea cases increased 398% from 2011 to 2014.
• 15-29 year olds are the age group most afflicted by gonorrhea and chlamydia in Utah
• Comprehensive sex education that includes discussion of abstinence as well as contraception and protection methods, works best in reducing teen pregnancy and STD rates.
Parts of the Bill:
• Medicaid Waiver
o This section grants family planning services to individuals who fall in the current Medicaid coverage gap
♣ These services include screening and testing for breast and cervical cancer, sexual health education, family planning counseling, forms of birth control
• Eliminates criminal provisions that allow for prosecution of individuals who provide contraceptive information to minors
• Defines human sexuality education as age appropriate, medically accurate, comprehensive education including instruction on personal hygiene, prevention of disease, boundary setting, development of safe and healthy relationships, and resisting peer pressure
o Age appropriate curriculum will be established by the State Board of Education
♣ Sexuality education may not be taught in kindergarten through grade 3
Representative Brian King has vowed to bring the bill back to the Legislature next year.