New York: Advocates Tout Sex Education
April 6, 2006
Members of Family Planning Advocates of New York State (FPA) gathered at the Capitol on Monday to support the Healthy Teens Act, which would provide schools with state grants for teaching age-appropriate and medically accurate sex education. The bill passed the Assembly for the second time Monday, though the Senate has yet to vote.
New York has one of the nation's highest teen pregnancy rates, about 91 per 1,000 girls ages 15-19 in 2003, FPA said. Schools are required to teach students about HIV/AIDS and parenting. Most schools offer sex education as a component of health or physical education courses. This year's budget provides just over $7.5 million in federal and state money for abstinence education, while another $5 million in federal funding is provided to community organizations teaching abstinence.
"It is clear that the abstinence-only programs are not good enough and we need to speak to our teenagers about sex education," said Sen. Nick Spano (R-Yonkers), the bill's cosponsor.
At Albany High School, sophomore Quanierra Foulks is a volunteer peer educator who leads workshops and provides counseling through a Planned Parenthood program called STARS, or Seriously Talking About Responsible Sex. Foulks attended the Monday rally calling for comprehensive sex education. If the bill passes, STARS, which is currently sponsored by state health department grants, could apply for funding.
Times Union (Albany)
04.05.2006; Colin McDonald
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.