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Media contact: Ramon Gardenhire
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Illinois Senate Passes Bill for Comprehensive Sexual Health Education
Landmark Measure Heads to Governor for Signature
The Illinois Senate today passed a comprehensive sexual health education bill (HB 2675) by a vote of 37-21, sending the bill to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for signature into law. The House passed the same bill by a vote of 66 to 52 on March 17, 2013.
AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) played a major role in moving this legislation forward, which was sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), and Rep. Camille Lilly (D-Chicago). Partners in the effort include American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
The General Assembly moved closer to providing students in Illinois access to information to make responsible decisions about their sexual health, said Ramon Gardenhire, director of government relations for AFC. We are tremendously grateful to Senator Steans for the leadership she displayed on getting this bill passed through the Senate.
HB 2675 creates a standard for existing sexual health education courses in grades six through 12; provides medically accurate, age-appropriate, complete information on reducing sexually transmitted diseases and infections, as well as unintended pregnancies; ensures that local school districts can choose curricula that meet their communitys standards; and allows for parents to remove their children from sexual health education courses for any reason without penalty to their child.
Young people need medically-accurate, age-appropriate sexual health education that stresses abstinence as well as contraception, said David Ernesto Munar, President/CEO of AFC. The majority of cases of sexually transmitted infections are among youth, who are also at higher risk of unintended pregnancies. Were glad the Illinois Senate has sent a message to the people of Illinois that they cant stick their heads in the sand anymore.
We urge Governor Quinn to act as soon as possible to sign this bill into law, Gardenhire said.
Founded in 1985 by community activists and physicians, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago is a catalyst for local, national, and international action against HIV/AIDS.