Democratic lawmakers plan to introduce sex-education legislation

“Comprehensive sex education programs reduce behaviors that put young people at risk, and it’s past time we get real about giving young people the information they need from trusted sources to live healthy lives,” Lee said.

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The Democratic lawmakers said that abstinence-only programs have not worked for America’s youth.

“Young adults should be presented with all of the information they need to make smart choices,” Lautenberg said. “It's clear that ‘abstinence-only’ programs simply don't work, and this bill would ensure that U.S. policy and federal funding reflect that reality. It’s time to bring sex education up-to-date to reflect the real-life situations facing American youth.”

The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act aims to reduce unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and expand sex education programs at colleges and universities. The bill would also prevent federal funds from being spent on “ineffective, medically inaccurate” sex-education programs.

“Research has shown that programs which teach abstinence and contraception effectively delay the onset of sexual intercourse, reduce the number of sexual partners, and increase contraceptive use among teens,” Lee said. “These programs also reduce unintended pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.”

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) are co-sponsoring the bill, as well as 35 House members.