This year Washington taxpayers should applaud their state Legislature for passing Senate Bill 5629. This bill strongly complements the Healthy Youth Act of 2007, which insists that public school sexual health education programs must be medically and scientifically accurate, age-appropriate and include information on abstinence and other methods of pregnancy and STD prevention.
SB 5629 sets the standard that state agencies only apply for funding for medically accurate and proven effective sexual health education programs. This allows these agencies to seek funding only for the programs that the Healthy Youth Act allows them to provide.
Due to the current financial crisis, many vital public services face severe cuts; family planning programs not the least. SB 5629 addresses these cuts by allowing Washington to seek new funding for proven sexual education programs. These programs, like family planning services, prevent unintended pregnancy, reduce the occurrence of STDs, improve people’s lives and save valuable taxpayer money.
While this bill presents a clear success story, our community and legislators must continue to seek new ways to fund critical programs like proven sexual health education so that these safety nets do not disappear.