The Chicago Tribune reports significant legislation updating the rules on sexual health education in Illinois passed the Senate on a 37-21 vote. The ACLU of Illinois has worked, as part of a broader coalition, to pass this critical bill which ensures that students receive age-appropriate, medically accurate and comprehensive information about their sexual health. The bill now moves to Governor Quinn's desk for signature.
The legislation is a change from current policy, where abstinence is the only requirement for schools with sex ed classes. The measure was approved on a 37-21 vote and needed 30 to pass.
Supporters argue that abstinence-only education is not effective and students should be taught about other methods of birth control and protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Opponents contend abstinence-only education should remain the norm in schools, saying parents should decide how to educate their kids about sex.
Sponsoring Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, said the measure still would require schools to teach that abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy and disease, while at the same time allowing "students to make healthy decisions for themselves."