Utah Bill Bars Sex Ed Unless It's Abstinence-Only
Schools must drop instruction if they want to talk contraception: bill
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2012 3:52 AM CST
"We owe it to our sons and daughters and to their future partners not to stick our heads in the sand," a Democratic opponent of the bill said.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A bill passed by Utah's House of Representatives gives schools a choice: Teach sex education that's all about not having sex, or drop sex ed. The bill, which allows schools to skip sex education, and bars those that keep it from discussing contraception, was passed 45-28 after a heated discussion about morality, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. All 17 of the chamber's Democrats voted against it, along with 11 Republicans.

Attempts to water the bill down and make sex education abstinence-centered instead of abstinence-only were defeated. Asked what an abstinence-only sex education course would involve, the bill's sponsor suggested lessons on friendship, dating, and love, reports the Deseret News. "Why don't we just be honest with our children and tell them right up front that sex outside of marriage is devastating?" he asked. The bill now heads for the state Senate.