Abstinence-Only Bill Introduced

10/20/11 – Wisconsin’s public schools could go back to teaching abstinence-only for sex education, under a Republican bill which had a public hearing yesterday. New Berlin Senator Mary Lazich’s bill would un-do what Democrats passed last year when they controlled state government. Under that law, schools do not have to offer sex-ed. But if they do, it must include age-appropriate instruction on birth control and preventing sexually-transmitted diseases. Lazich’s bill would also require sex-ed classes to promote marriage. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau expects the new measure to pass in his house. Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald of Horicon says his members still have to talk about it. Lazich said her bill would let local communities decide for themselves what areas to cover and not cover. However, Democrats fear the bill would result in an increase in sexually-transmitted diseases. Milwaukee Senate Democrat Lena Taylor said the current comprehensive law quote, “helps us deal with the reality we’re in.” Lazich’s measure would require sex-ed classes to teach that abstinence is the preferred option for unmarried students – and it’s the only way to prevent pregnancy and sexual diseases.