H.B. 189: TEACHING CONTRACEPTION IN UTAH’S ABSTINENCE-ONLY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Abstract

Public schools principally function to foster the knowledge necessary to contribute to society and inculcate the youth with the community's values. Consistent with this function, H.R. 189 proposes allowing more information regarding sexual health while not undermining the values reflected in the current sex education program. Specifically, H.R. 189 proposes three changes to the current statute: first, it requires the inclusion of the Utah Department of Health in evaluating instructional materials; second, it statutorily codifies "medically accurate" information; and finally, it provides succinct language allowing teachers to more completely address contraception, eliminating the prohibition on "the advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods or devices. . . ." Voting against H.R. 189 would likely result from the Utah Legislature mistakenly prioritizing the inculcation of community values above education that would reverse STD infection trends. To support this assertion, this paper analyzes the changes proposed by H.R. 189 and their potential impact. Section II outlines the current statute, § 53A-13-101 of the Utah Code, and the resulting curriculum; Section III presents potential problems with sex education curricula; Section IV discusses the changes H.R. 189 will statutorily impose; and Section V presents arguments in favor of enacting H.R. 189. Generally, in sex education debates, parties either advocate no sex education in public school and abstinence-only programs (AOP), or comprehensive sex education programs. Throughout this paper, the underlying ideology of a source will only be addressed when it is particularly relevant.  
How to Cite
. H.B. 189: TEACHING CONTRACEPTION IN UTAH’S ABSTINENCE-ONLY PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Journal of Law and Family Studies, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 1, mar. 2010. Available at: <http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/jlfs/article/view/291>. Date accessed: 22 nov. 2017.
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