Abstinence-only bill limits choices

Friday, June 1, 2007 | 12:19 a.m. CDT; updated 4:56 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Good health care policy is good politics.

Please urge Governor Blunt to veto HB 1055. Missouri is beginning to move backward instead of moving forward, and, at a minimum, we are barely maintaining status quo.

The “abstinence-only” education severely limits Missouri youth from essential information they need to take care of their bodies.

Not only that, but it has been shown to have minimum, if any, impact on sexual behavior (Impacts of Four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs — Final Report, April 2007).

The result of this law would also result in making legal choices much less available to women in Missouri.

Certainly, sex education — including information on abstinence and birth control — would best come from a family member and/or doctor. Unfortunately, the reality is that it often does not.

Even when that information comes from family, it may not be accurate information. Birth control is important certainly, but equally important is accurate education on sexually transmitted diseases. What parent would rather have had his or her child be diagnosed with an STD than have encouraged education/information on the prevention of STDs? I know of none.

We in Columbia talk a big talk. It is time we take responsibility to provide our elected officials with education and information about the true impact this legislation could have, i.e., little true effect on effective sexual education and increasing the difficulity of access to health care for Missouri women.

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