April 16th, 2013 By German Lopez | News | Posted In: News, Sex, Women's Health, Education

Ohio House Bill Would Ban Comprehensive Sex Education

Republicans amend bill to prevent discussion, distribution of contraceptives in schools

ohio statehouseOhio Statehouse

With Republican support and Democratic opposition, the Ohio House Finance Committee approved a budget bill today that would ban comprehensive sex education, defund Planned Parenthood and fund crisis pregnancy centers that pro-choice groups call “anti-choice.”

Citing the possibility of “gateway sexual activity,” the bill would make it so teachers can be fined up to $5,000 if they explain the use of condoms and other forms of birth control to high school students. It would also prohibit individuals and groups from distributing birth control on school grounds.

The bill pushes abstinence-only education to curtail any promotion, implicit or explicit, of gateway sexual activity. To define such activity, the bill cites Ohio’s criminal code definition for “sexual contact,” which is defined as “any touching of an erogenous zone of another, including without limitation the thigh, genitals, buttock, pubic region, or, if the person is a female, a breast.”

The bill would also redirect federal funding to defund Planned Parenthood and shift funds to crisis pregnancy centers, which CityBeat covered in further detail here.

“Today the Ohio House Finance Committee voted to send our state back to the 1950s,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, in a statement.

“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. (Gov. John) Kasich can stop these dangerous attacks on women’s health care. We need him to speak out against these budget provisions and to line-item veto these dangerous measures when they reach his desk.”

Researchers have found abstinence-only programs to be generally ineffective. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found abstinence-only programs have no impact on rates for teenage pregnancy or vaginal intercourse, while comprehensive programs that include birth control education reduce rates.

A 2011 study from researchers at the University of Georgia that looked at data from 48 states concurred abstinence-only programs do not reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy. The study indicated states with the lowest teenage pregnancy rates tend to have the most comprehensive sex and HIV education programs.

When looking at three ways to prevent unintended pregnancies for a 2012 study, the Brookings Center on Children and Families found the most cost-effective policy was to increase funding for family planning services through the Medicaid program. In other words, if governments increased spending on birth control programs, they would eventually save money.

Still, a 2010 study from a University of Pennsylvania researcher found abstinence-only education programs may delay sexual activity. The study, which tracked black middle school students over two years, found students in an abstinence-only program had lower rates of sexual activity than students in the comprehensive program.

At hearings on April 12, anti-abortion groups praised abstinence-only education for promoting chastity.

04.17.2013 at 08:41 Reply

We apparently are being transported against our will back to the 19th century when men were men and got to tell everyone else what they should do. These ractionary politicians who want to ignore reality of modern life  get upset when 'the government' wants to tell them how many bullets they can fire froma guun but don't have the same oputrage when they, in turn, want to dictate to adut teachers and near adults (many students are 18) how to live their lives. Do they actually think this will help anyone?


04.17.2013 at 11:22

I do not believe that that sexual aids should be delivered in school.  Sexual activivity should be taught by parents.  Parents have a moral code they want their child to live by, it could be different than a teachers, neighbors, friends, i know this from personal experience, as i am sure we all know someone.  Teaching a child about males and female body functions when our children is young is different than teaching them to go out and have sex and handing them the sexual aids to have  safe sex and telling them its ok as long as you dont get pregnant.  But, that is not what abstinance is all about.  Which may not be what the parent wants for their child.  I am in my 40s and girls were pregnant when I was in school but they didnt go to the teachers to get approval to do so as I am sure they didnt go to their parents either.   Look  at all the teenagers in Cincinnati on Welfare and pregnant or still in school or have had to drop out of school to take care of their child or children its no wonder the economy is crazy, we are paying for all these babies having babies.  I have experience I am not just talking out of my head.  I have a 18 year old daughter who graduated last year from princeton high school.  She has been a wonder girl and thank God she has listened to me and and their was no pregnancies and she is nursing school.   Was it easy no way, her friends were pregnant and she was seeing that it was ok to have sex with sex with anyone, when we were trying to teach her that it is suppose to be a special time with someone that you Love and plane to spend your life with. 


04.17.2013 at 12:28 Reply

Your article states that " the bill would make it so teachers can be fined up to $5,000 if they explain the use of condoms and other forms of birth control to high school students." This is a completely flase statement. The ammendment simply prohibits the  promotion of "gateway sexual activities" as defined in the Ohio revised code for "sexual contact." It clearly states that contraception can be discussed but not distributed by the school. You may also checkout abstinenceworks.org to see the 23 peer-reveiwed studies shwoing the effectivness of abstiennce programs. Facts are important in this debate!


04.17.2013 at 07:02
Not quite. The bill says medically accurate information regarding contraceptives can be discussed if it meets the rules set by the law, meaning any explanation cannot promote, implicitly or explicitly, "gateway sexual activity."

So the bill allows a teacher to say something like, "Condoms can reduce the chance of pregnancy and contracting HIV." But if a student told a teacher he was going to have sex but didn't know how to apply a condom, the teacher would not be allowed to answer because it would enable "gateway sexual activity."

In other words, a teacher could be fined up to $5,000 for explaining the use of condoms and other birth control to high school students, just as I wrote.

The fear brought up by supporters of comprehensive sex education is that teachers will stay away from the birth control discussion in fear of getting fined, effectively banning such discussion altogether, even when it's medically sound.