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New bill seeks to link vulnerable youth to sexual health services

For Immediate Release
September 20, 2016

Contact: Kristina Romines
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 333
Email: kromines@siecus.org

New bill seeks to link vulnerable youth to sexual health services
Youth Access to Sexual Health Services (YASHS) Act addresses needs of youth facing barriers to care

Washington, D.C. – The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States applauds the leadership of Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12) for introducing legislation that would support marginalized young people access and obtain sexual health care and related services. The Youth Access to Sexual Health Services Act would ensure that funds go to programs that provide science-based and shame-free information and support.

“Youth need information about and access to affordable, youth-friendly, and culturally competent sexual health care, and access to providers who respect their privacy and support them in making choices that are right for them,” said Chitra Panjabi, President and CEO. “Yet too many young people face barriers to getting the care they have a right to and that they need to live healthy lives.”

Barriers such as stigma and discrimination, lack of knowledgeable providers, cost, transportation, and perceived lack of confidentiality prevent young people from accessing recommended and necessary sexual health services. The YASHS Act would provide communities with resources to help ensure the lifelong sexual health of vulnerable youth by working in community-wide partnerships to equip young people with information about and access to affordable, youth-friendly, and linguistically and culturally competent health care.

“As an organization that has worked tirelessly for the past 50-plus years to promote lifelong sexual health and wellbeing, SIECUS thanks Senator Hirono, Congresswoman Adams, and the 40 additional cosponsors for their leadership and support for this legislation that centers the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable youth,” said Panjabi.

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The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sexuality education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS affirms that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one that is worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the right of all people to accurate information, comprehensive education about sexuality, and sexual health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice and sexual rights.

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