Californians Concerned about Sex Education Bill

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

( - Californians are concerned that a Planned Parenthood education bill that mandates schools to teach "medically accurate" sex education could undermine abstinence education.

The bill, signed last week by Democratic Governor Gray Davis, also mandates that schools must provide information "free of racial, ethnic and gender biases."

The National Coalition for Abstinence Education said the bill was a Trojan horse to introduce condom-based education.

"Our concern is that it will be interpreted in a politically correct way to keep abstinence out of the classroom," a spokesman for the organization said. The bill requires schools to teach children about all forms of contraception on grounds of "medical accuracy."

Proponents say the bill merely ensures that schools teach scientific information. This means that the research must be published in journals recognized by professional organizations with expertise in relevant fields, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

California schools do not have to teach sexuality education, but if they do, they must abide by the new law.

The term "medically accurate" would mean that the California Education Code would have to follow the latest research approved by the U.S. Surgeon General, the CDC and the National Academy of Sciences, the bill's proponents say.

"We aren't advocating that teens go out and have sex," a spokeswoman for Get Real about Teen Pregnancy Campaign told The Washington Times. "We're just acknowledging that some teens are, and we try to reach those teens, too."

The bill's critics, however, say Planned Parenthood is using the legislation as a way to get its view of sexual education into schools, a view that favors birth control and abortion as solutions to teen pregnancy.

"Our view is, let's get sex education out of schools," Jim Saldak, director of Stop Planned Parenthood International, told the paper.

"If parents can't do the job, they should have a doctor or a family friend do it," he said.