SIECUS 2021 Sex Ed State Legislative Mid-Year Report
For Immediate Release: September 2, 2021
Washington, DC – This week, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change published its 2021 Sex Ed Legislative Mid-Year Report. The report highlights major legislative trends regarding sex education, access to reproductive health care for young people, and highlights enacted bills from the past year.
With at least 124 bills introduced related to sex education instruction in schools, not all are in support of accurate and affirming sex education. A historic number of anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ legislation was introduced, along with new efforts to pass equitable education bans. Further, three bills were enacted that mandate parents to opt their children into sex education, providing an unnecessary hurdle in accessing sex education.
Despite this, several notable wins were observed. Five new laws were enacted to advance sex education, including the successful removal of the requirement for Alabama schools to teach discriminatory and false information on LGBTQ+ identities and the passage of the Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act in Illinois, which mandates comprehensive sex education.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen some states make strides toward comprehensive sex ed, and other states regress,” said Christine Soyong Harley, SIECUS President & CEO. “What has not changed is our organization’s commitment to work tirelessly to ensure comprehensive, medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education is taught in K-12th grades by professionals in the field.”
SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change has served as the national voice for sex education for more than 55 years, asserting that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worth of dignity and respect. Through policy, advocacy, education, and strategic communications efforts, SIECUS advances sex education as a vehicle for social change-working toward a world where all people can access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom as they define it for themselves.