I try to avoid talking politics here, but this one just rubs me sooooo wrong. The Utah Legislature recently passed House Bill 363, which in a nutshell prevents the instruction of anything other than abstinence in our schools. It states that schools are only to "teach and stress: the importance of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage and fidelity after marriage." It also "imposes certain restrictions for human sexuality instructional programs."
As a mother, this frustrates me. As a teen-mother, it infuriates me!
Don't get me wrong, I am in no way opposed to the teaching of abstinence, but to suggest that it is an end all to our teen pregnancy and STD problems is completely ignorant. Whether we want to admit it or not, TEENS ARE HAVING SEX! (Recent reports put this number as high as 33% in Utah). And, while it is a parent's responsibility to teach their children about sex - in whatever form their personal values indicate - it is, unfortunately, unrealistic to expect that they actually will. Let's face it, the majority of parents DON'T talk to their kids about it. And, when they do, they teach abstinence only... the key word here is: ONLY! Frankly, a teen who's having sex is a teen who's not talking to his/her parent about it. A kid who's having sex isn't likely to ask their parent about contraceptives or protection. So, how do they get information to protect themselves?
We need to jump off the "parent responsibility" band wagon because, to be bold and honest, parent's simply aren't taking the responsibility. Honestly, if you are a parent, when was the last time you talked frankly, honestly, and boldly to your children about sex? Likely you've said something like, "Hey, don't do it," but have you really given them details? Have you opened a door of communication? Do your children know not just the dangers of having premarital (or extramarital) sex, but also ways to protect themselves if by chance they find themselves in the situation? (I attest to you that even "good kids" fall into this temptation!)
By all means, no parent wants their child having sex before they are married. None of us even want to think about it. Many parents even blush and get all embarrassed about the subject. Why? Why don't we teach our kids? Why do we - unintentionally or not - sweep it under the rug? Sex isn't bad. Sex is a beautiful, natural, God-given right to express love and create families... and it should only happen within the bounds of marriage. Unfortunately, the number of teen-pregnancies (and teen STDs) in Utah suggests that many kids are choosing against abstinence.
What can we do?
We teach them abstinence. We teach them that it is the only 100% fool-proof method to avoiding pregnancy, STDs, and even the emotional (and spiritual) damage that comes with premarital sex. But, we also inform them! Ignorance is not a substitution for protection. And, education isn't the same as promotion. If our children aren't being provided CORRECT information at school, where will they get it?
A campaign has started to encourage Governor Herbert to veto this bill. If you want to help protect our children, Sign the Petition here.
(Click here To Read the bill )