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Eye On Olympia

Senate hits a nerve on sex ed…

The House and Senate have been nose-to-the-grindstone for much of this week, passing a flurry of bills before a looming cutoff. Yesterday, the Senate touched on a hot-button issue: abstinence-based sex education.

Sen Pam Roach had a long story about her pre-political days, when she offered to convene a sex-ed assembly at a local high school. She assembled a panel, including a nurse, urologist, man with AIDS and a woman, disguised in a wig, who’d contracted chlamydia from her husband. Roach said she put on two of the assemblies for the students. She was the advocate for abstinence.

“I didn’t tell them that I waited, but I’ll tell you that I did,” Roach, R-TMI, told lawmakers. “There’s a time, there’s a situation, there’s a place…It’s not just fly by night, have a great time.”

On the other side was Sen. Rosa Franklin, a retired nurse. Yes, ideally parents would do proper sex education, she said, and kids wouldn’t have sex before marriage.

“However, this is the real world,” continued Franklin, D-Tacoma. “They have been having sex before marriage since a long time ago, a long time before any of us were on this earth.”

The bill in question: SB 5629.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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