CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News UpdateILLINOIS: Illinois Senate Approves Sex Education Bill
By Sophia Tareen
May 24, 2013
The Illinois State Senate voted 37 to 21 in favor of HB2675, which will require Illinois public schools that teach sex education to add instruction about contraception and STDs to the current abstinence-only curriculum. Gov. Pat Quinn supports the bill. HB2675 will allow districts to opt out of including sex education in the curriculum; parents also may examine their district’s sex education curriculum and opt out for their children if they wish. Proponents of the bill believe that abstinence-only education is not effective and children benefit from having as much information as possible. According to Illinois Planned Parenthood President and Chief Executive Officer Carole Brite, students who receive sex education that includes contraception and disease prevention information are more likely to delay having sex and to use protection when they do have sex. Opponents counter that abstinence-only curricula impart “valuable principles” and fear that HB2675 will affect local control of sex education. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health data, teens age 15–19 comprised 35 percent of all chlamydia cases and 33 percent of all gonorrhea incidence in 2011.