Illinois State Senator Heather Steans and Representative Camille Lily wrote a joint op-ed in today's Chicago Sun-Times which made an important connection: U.S. Representative Todd Akin's recent comments about rape highlights the need to improve sexual health education curricula across the country, and in Illinois. The ACLU of Illinois is a member of a coaltion of organizations that worked with Senator Steans and Representative Lily to pass a piece of legislation - HB 3027 - that would modernize sex ed in Illinois public schools. The bill passed in the Senate, but failed to get enough votes to pass in the House. The bill is expected to be re-introduced in the next legislative session.
Rep. Akin’s misinformed comments launched anew that seemingly endless dialogue about women’s reproductive rights. We should not let that conversation blind us to the appalling lack of public education about reproductive health that his comments reveal. We can ensure that our young people at least have a base line of information about sexual health throughout life.