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A Close Vote on Sexuality Education in the Senate

On July 25, 2006, the full United States Senate voted on an amendment which would have invested in comprehensive sexuality education and teen pregnancy prevention initiatives, such as after-school programs for at-risk youth. The amendment was offered by Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, both Democrats from New Jersey, to the Child Custody Protection Act (CCPA, S. 403).

While the amendment failed by a vote of 48-51, advocates were pleased with the incredibly close vote, which included five Republicans voting in favor of the amendment. Many saw the close vote as proof that ensuring young people’s access to medically accurate, age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education has garnered great support among a bipartisan group of policymakers.

“The large number of Senators who voted in favor of funding real comprehensive sexuality education and teen pregnancy initiatives indicates that Washington is finally ready to provide young people with the medically accurate, age-appropriate information they need to make responsible, informed decisions about their sexual health,” said William Smith, vice president for public policy at SIECUS. “SIECUS commends the 48 Senators for their courageous stand and hopes that they will continue in their fight to fund real solutions to preventing unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV,” Smith continued.

To see how your Senator voted on the Lautenberg amendment, go to:

To view the REAL Act, which would also provide funding for comprehensive sexuality education, please go to: