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February 2005 (To print, click the print icon on your browser
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February 2005 Legislative Reports

2005 State Sexual and Reproductive Health Legislative Reports1
Accurate as of February 2005

Alabama
Bill Would Ban Use of Public Funds for "Promotion" of Homosexuality
House Bill 30, introduced in December of 2004, would prohibit any state agency or public entity from using public funds or facilities to purchase electronic materials or activities that "sanction, recognize, foster, or promote a lifestyle or actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws of the state." This ban would extend to library books and textbooks. Any public employee who violates this law would be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

This legislation is meant to extend Alabama's current restriction on the inclusion of homosexuality (except as in relation to its illegality under Alabama's sodomy laws) in sexuality education classes.

In 2003, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision in Lawrence v. Texas which declared state laws criminalizing homosexual behavior to be unconstitutional.

Alaska
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Alaska.

Arizona
Parental Permission for Sex Education Legislation Introduced, Creates Different Standard for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs
House Bill 2430, introduced in January 2005 and referred to the House Committee on Education K-12 and the House Committee on Rules, would require any school that teaches sex education to receive written parental permission before a student may participate in any of this instruction. This is commonly referred to as an "opt-in" policy. It would also prohibit sexuality from being discussed in any class except sex education, without prior school board approval.

Under H.B. 2430, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs would not have to follow these policies.

Bill Would Create Committee to Study Excellence in Education, Must Include Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Proponent
Introduced in January 2005, House Bill 2546 would create a joint legislative committee to study success in education. The committee must include "a teacher who provides instruction in the area of abstinence education and who is appointed by the president of the senate." The committee would automatically disband in September of 2006. Among other topics, the committee would research and report to the legislature on curricula, curricula implementation, and the teaching of "marriage skills."

Introduced in January 2005 and referred to the Senate Committee on Education K-12 and the Senate Committee on Rules, Senate Bill 1077 would require all sex education curricula to be medically accurate. S.B. 1077 defines medically accurate as "supported by the weight of the research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods, recognized as accurate and objective by leading professional organizations and agencies with relevant expertise in the field, and published in peer-reviewed journals, if appropriate."

Bill Would Cut Millions From Teenage Pregnancy Programs
Senate Bill 1125; introduced in January 2005 and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and the Senate Committee on Rules; would reappropriate state lottery funds. As part of this change, no state lottery monies would be given to teenage pregnancy prevention resulting in a three million dollar loss for these programs.

Arkansas
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Arkansas.

California
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in California.

Colorado
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Colorado.

Connecticut
Parental Notification of Family Life Program Legislation Introduced
House Bill 5514, introduced in January 2005 and referred to the joint Committee on Education, would require school districts to notify any parent of a student who is eligible to participate in a family life program.

Bill Would Require Review of Sex Education Programs
Senate Bill 363, introduced in January 2005 and referred to the joint Committee on Education, would require school districts to review their sex education programs in order to guarantee that the program is comprehensive and includes, "abstinence, human development, relationships, sexual health, and sexually transmitted diseases."

Delaware
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Delaware.

Florida
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Florida.

Georgia
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Georgia

Hawaii
Medical Accuracy Legislation Introduced
House Bill 483 and Senate Bill 286, introduced in January 2005, would require any recipient of state funding that provides sex education, family planning information, pregnancy counseling, or information about STDs to use medically accurate, factually based information. According to H.B. 483 and S.B. 286, this must include information about abstinence and contraception. H.B. 483 and S.B. 286 defines medical accuracy as "verified or supported by research conducted in compliance with scientific methods and published in peer-reviewed journals, where appropriate, and recognized as accurate and objective by professional organizations and agencies with expertise in the relevant fields, such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists."

Bills Would Expand School Health Services
Introduced in January 2005, House Bill 1003 and Senate Bill 1517 would provide for the planning and start-up of comprehensive school health services with an emphasis on school-based health centers. As part of this, schools may include "health education, including medically accurate, factually based sex education." These projects could not "promote, provide, or provide referrals to abortions or abortion-related services." Both bills also include money for evaluation of the effectiveness of the school-based health programs.

Additionally, four separate resolutions, House Resolutions 23 and 26 as well as Senate Resolutions 6 and 9 express support for the aforementioned bill.

Idaho
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Idaho.

Illinois
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Illinois.

Indiana
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Indiana.

Iowa
Sexual Orientation Would Be Added To Antidiscrimination Statutes
Prefiled in December 2004, this legislation would amend Iowa's civil rights statutes to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This would include access to educational institutions.

Kansas
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Kansas.

Kentucky
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Kentucky

Louisiana
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Louisiana.

Maryland
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Maryland.

Massachusetts
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Massachusetts.

Michigan
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Michigan.

Minnesota
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Minnesota.

Mississippi
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Mississippi.

Missouri
Bill Would Prohibit Any Provider of Abortion Services From Providing Sex Education
Senate Bill 198; introduced in January 2005 and referred to the Committee on Judiciary, Civil, and Criminal Jurisprudence; would prohibit any person who performs, induces, assists with, encourages, or refers people to abortion services from teaching sex education. The bill provides an exemption, however, if the abortion is necessary to save the "life of the mother."

Montana
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Montana.

Nebraska
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Nebraska.

Nevada
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Nevada.

New Hampshire
Bill Would Strengthen Abstinence Requirements
Introduced in January 2005 and referred to the House Committee on Education, House Bill 39 would require all sex education classes to follow abstinence-only-until-marriage guidelines. Among other things, "course material and instruction shall teach honor and respect for monogamous heterosexual marriage" and "course material and instruction shall stress that pupils should abstain from sexual intercourse until they are ready for marriage."

The bill would also allow parents or guardians to remove their child with written objection. This is commonly known as an "opt-out" policy.

New Jersey
Bill to Exempt Students from Family Life Education Requirements in Public Institutions of Higher Education
Assembly Bill 3806, introduced in January 2005 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Education, would excuse any student with "conflicts of conscience" from certain class requirements in public institutions of higher education. The enumerated classes are "health, family life education, or sexual education." Such a law already exists for students in public elementary or secondary schools.

Comprehensive Family Life Education Bill Introduced
Assembly Bill 787, introduced in January 2004 and assigned to the Assembly Committee on Education, would require each board of education in the state to offer comprehensive family life education. A.B. 787 defines family life education as "education regarding human development and sexuality, including education on family planning and sexually transmitted diseases, that is medically accurate and age-appropriate; respects community values and encourages parental communication; promotes responsible sexual behavior and addresses both abstinence and the use of contraception; promotes individual responsibility and involvement regarding sexuality; and teaches skills for responsible decision-making regarding sexuality."

A.B. 787 would also repeal the New Jersey law requiring that all such courses stress that abstinence is the only completely reliable means for eliminating STDs and avoiding pregnancy.

Parenting Education Instruction Legislation Introduced
Introduced in January 2004 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Education, Assembly Bill 1525 would require that instruction on parenting, including responsibilities and obligations, be included in any family life education course.

New Mexico
Bill Would Fund Pregnancy Prevention
Senate Bill 409, introduced in January 2005 and referred to both the Senate Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Finance, would appropriate $2,600,000 to teen pregnancy prevention and family strengthening programs. One million would be used to fund in-school programs for pregnancy prevention, parenting, family strengthening, and career development for teen mothers and fathers. One million would be used at state universities to provide programs to prevent teen pregnancy and aid at-risk youth. The remaining $600,000 would be used by the human services department for community-based young fatherhood and teen pregnancy prevention programs.

New York
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in New York.

North Carolina
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in North Carolina.

North Dakota
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in North Dakota.

Ohio
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Ohio.

Oklahoma
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Oklahoma.

Oregon
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Oregon.

Pennsylvania
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Rhode Island.

South Carolina
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in South Carolina.

South Dakota
Bill Would Require Health Education to be Medically Accurate and Objective
Introduced in January 2005 and referred to the Senate Committee on Education, Senate Bill 166 would require that all school districts that provide health education ensure that the information is "factual and medically accurate and objective." Medically accurate and objective are defined as "verified or supported by research conducted in compliance with scientific methods and published in peer-reviewed journals, if appropriate, and recognized as accurate and objective by leading professional medical organizations and agencies with expertise in the relevant fields."

Tennessee
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Tennessee.

Texas
Legislation Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Introduced
Introduced in January 2005, Senate Bill 201 and House Bill 376 would prohibit any public educational institution or employee of such an institution from discriminating against a student enrolled in the institution based on "ethniticity, color, gender, gender identity, sexual preference, disability, religion, or national origin, of the student or the student's parents."

Utah
Bill Would Change Health Instruction to Include Education on Prevention of HIV/AIDS
Introduced in January 2005 and currently in the House Committee on Rules, House Bill 72 would modify the state Board of Education's health education curricula requirements to include information on the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Virginia
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Virginia.

Washington
Medically Accurate Sex Education Bill Introduced
House Bill 1282 and Senate Bill 5306, introduced in January 2005 and referred to their respective Committees on Health Care, would require all school districts offering sexual health education to incorporate the Department of Health and Office of the Superintendent of Public School's guidelines for sexual health information into their instruction.

The legislation also states that this education must emphasize abstinence, but not to the exclusion of other methods of prevention and that it must include "medically accurate information about the effectiveness of contraceptives and other family planning options in a comprehensive manner." The Department of Health is charged with adopting rules to determine what is medically accurate.

Furthermore, the legislation states that "instruction and materials shall be age-appropriate and appropriate for use with students of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds and students with disabilities."

"Truth in Describing Sex Education Act" Introduced
In January 2005 the "Truth in Describing Sex Education Act" was introduced "to help parents clearly identify the type of education being taught, assist community committee members in selecting the best materials to comply with school district policy, and support teachers in complying with their school district policy."

Senate Bill 5478 provided the federal government's definition of "abstinence education" and mandated that all school districts decide whether their sexuality education programs fit within that definition and are thus "abstinence education" or whether they "describe sexual behaviors not included in the definition" and are thus "comprehensive sex education" programs.

Washington, DC
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Washington, DC.

West Virginia
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in West Virginia.

Wisconsin
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Wisconsin.

Wyoming
SIECUS is not aware of any current legislation regarding sexuality education in Wyoming.


1This report is accurate as of February 11, 2005.

This report does not include bills that focus on abortion or emergency contraception. For information about these, please see the Alan Guttmacher Institute's State Center at www.agi-usa.org/statecenter/index.html

This report also does not include appropriations bills. For information on this type of legislation, please contact SIECUS' Public Policy Office at 202/265-2405.

National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education