SIECUS applauds collection of sex ed bills introduced in Congress
For Immediate Release
May 14, 2019
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 3330
(Washington, DC) — Today, members of Congress have rallied together to introduce multiple pieces of legislation in hopes of improving and advancing sex education for young people across the United States. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA), led by Rep. Barbara Lee and The Youth Access to Sexual Health Services Act (YASHS), led by Rep. Alma Adams.
“We are thrilled to see our champions in Congress working to address the wide-reaching gaps in our sex education with the introduction of these bills,” said Samantha Dercher, SIECUS’ Federal Policy Director. “We are so grateful to see these leaders representing what young people have, time and time again, told us that they need: high quality, shame-free sex education for all.”
This month, Advocates For Youth, Healthy Teen Network, Planned Parenthood, Power to Decide, and SIECUS launched the first-ever Sex Ed For All Month: Accessing Power, Information and Rights, officially replacing the previous observance of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month during May. This effort aims to refocus on providing young people with the sexual health information and access to services they need and deserve in order to make healthy decisions for themselves–without shaming or stigmatizing young parents.
“This rebrand signifies a necessary shift toward advancing sex education in a way that truly empowers young people,” said Dercher. “If passed into law, REHYA and YASHS would help to provide the resources needed to make sex ed for all a reality.”
REHYA would create the first-ever federal funding stream for comprehensive sexuality education in the U.S. And YASHS would work to break down barriers that prevent already marginalized young people–including young people of color, immigrant youth, LGBTQ youth, youth in foster care, homeless youth, and young people in juvenile detention–from accessing the sexual and reproductive health care that they need.
Senate companion bills for REHYA and YASHS will be introduced by Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Mazie Hirono in the coming weeks.
“The reality is that we are way behind on giving young people the sex education that they not only need–but have a right to receive,” Dercher said. “If we want to bring this country’s sex education into the 21st century, we must pass this legislation.”
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sex education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS asserts that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the rights of all people to accurate information, comprehensive sexuality education, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.