State requirements for stressing abstinence in sexual education classes passed the Wisconsin State Senate with a 17-15 party-line vote.
Authored by Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), the bill that effectively repeals the Healthy Youth Act passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature in 2010. The bill now moves to the Republican-controlled Assembly.
“The Strong Communities/Healthy Kids Act is another win for proponents of local control,” Lazich said in a written statement. “This takes the emphasis of human growth and development away from special interests and government mandates, and places it on ensuring students receive the necessary education to become healthy and productive members of society.”
The Healthy Youth Act required comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum that included abstinence, how to use birth control and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. Schools could choose to not offer sexual education classes, but could not offer abstinence-only courses.
Now, the Strong Communities/Healthy Kids Act recommends certain topics like parental responsibility, benefits of marriage, prenatal development and childbirth. Birth control is not on the list, but schools can choose to do so.
Prior to the vote, Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine) opposed repealing the Healthy Youth Act.
"This is the first school year that Healthy Youth is being implemented," he said. "When we have so many other things to talk about, like jobs and helping our most vulnerable citizens, is this really the best use of our time?"