HANDS-OFF EDUCATION

Dangerous New Legislation Could Ban Sexual Health And Education Classes In Ohio

condom-bananaForget drugs and guns—there’s something even more abhorrent happening in schools across America, and GOP Representatives from Ohio have decided to do something about it. If passed, provisions in the state’s operating budget would ban any person or organization within a school from promoting “Gateway Sexual Activity,” a ridiculous blanket term that includes critical sexual education classes.

The new provisions came courtesy of the Ohio House Republicans in the Finance Committee, who explicitly describe sex education as “venereal disease education.” Under the new law, students will have the right to file suit against school officials condoning “gateway sexual activity” on or off of school property.

Even more disturbingly, the GOP lawmakers in charge aren’t using the term “gateway” to imply protecting their children from explicitly dangerous activity, they’re using it to imply any sexual act including “touching of an erogenous zone of another…for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person.”

That means kids in Ohio won’t learn about protection or prevention. In fact, they’ll be taught the same thing Mormon kids in the 1940’s were!

Teachers across the state would be instructed to:

  1. “Stress that students should abstain from sexual activity until after marriage.”
  2. “Teach the potential physical, psychological, emotional, and social side effects of participating in sexual activity outside of marriage.”
  3. “Emphasize adoption as an option for unintended pregnancies.”

Sure, they’re correct in saying “abstinence…is the only protection that is one hundred percent effective against unwanted pregnancy, STDs, and [AIDS],” but everyone knows asking kids to abstain from sex is tantamount to asking your dog to do the dishes.

On top of that, there’s still no study linking sexual education to a rise in disease, unwanted pregnancy or promiscuity. On the contrary, UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, reviewed 68 different studies from around the world in 1997, and found that “providing children with sex education does not promote promiscuity.” That was 16 years ago!

“Today the Ohio House Finance Committee voted to send our state back to the 1950s” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice, in a statement to The Columbus Dispatch. “The Ohio House is doing everything they can to restrict access to reproductive health care and medically accurate information that help Ohioans live healthy lives.”

The bill is scheduled to be discussed in the Ohio House on Thursday.