Resource Logo
CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

LOUISIANA: Student Sex Survey Bill Rejected




 

Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (05.24.12) - Thursday, May 24,

The state Senate Education Committee on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have allowed Louisiana to survey students about sexual risk behaviors. Currently, state law outlaws such surveying, which would typically be conducted to inform public health policy. A top advisor to Gov. Bobby Jindal joined social conservatives in testifying against the bill, which already had cleared the House.

Louisiana had the nation's highest rate of syphilis and the third-highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in 2009, and the state teen pregnancy rate is higher than the nation's.

"If you don't fix this problem, Louisiana is going to get worse," testified Rep. Pat Smith, the bill's author. Her measure authorized surveying by the state Department of Education; parents would retain the right to opt their children out of the process.

The bill is "too broad" and might lead to inquiries that "are inappropriate to be in statute," Stafford Olivia Palmieri, Jindal's chief of staff, told senators. Smith said the surveys would be modeled after those distributed by CDC; Kathleen Benefield of the American Family Association of New Orleans testified that such surveys are part of the "pornification of American girls." "We already have the data," Sen. Mike Walsworth (R-West Monroe) said to Smith, as he waved printed state disease statistics. "It seems like you're saying, 'let's just keep studying, keep studying,'" he added.

"We know the [disease] data. But how do they get to this point?" replied Smith. "The statistics in Southern states show that we have the biggest problems. It's in these states where we listen to the religious right," she said.



 


Copyright © 2012 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.



Information in this article was accurate in May 24, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.