Quinn OKs sex-ed bill backed by Planned Parenthood, ACLU

SHARE Quinn OKs sex-ed bill backed by Planned Parenthood, ACLU
SHARE Quinn OKs sex-ed bill backed by Planned Parenthood, ACLU

SPRINGFIELD-Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that would impose a new statewide sex-education standard for sixth- through 12th-graders that goes beyond abstinence-only instruction.

Opposed by Republicans, the bill would encourage school systems to adopt “comprehensive, medically accurate and age-appropriate” sex-education curricula with a specific focus on sexually-transmitted diseases, contraception and unintended pregnancies.

Backed by Planned Parenthood of Illinois and the ACLU of Illinois, the new law would enable parents to withhold their children from any sex-education courses to which they object. Quinn took action without making any public statement on his move.

“Planned Parenthood applauds Gov. Pat Quinn for signing a law that ensures that teens in Illinois have access to medically accurate, evidence based, age appropriate, comprehensive information when they receive sex education in Illinois public schools,” said Carol Brite, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

“Research shows that comprehensive sex education that includes information about abstinence and contraception delays sexual activity among youth and increases the use of effective protection against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections when sexual activity occurs,” she said.

But state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), who voted against the plan in the Illinois Senate, criticized the new law because he said it de-emphasizes the importance of teaching students about the value of abstinence and avoiding sex until after marriage.

“Government always thinks they know what’s best, and I think the more mandates that you put on local school districts, the more you take authority away from parents, which is where it should be,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “The districts didn’t need this. They didn’t ask for this.”

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