Scott Phelps: Illinois should not mandate inappropriate sex education

Once again, members of the Illinois Legislature are trying to mandate explicit, inappropriate sex education, as they attempt to do year after year. House Bill 2675 is peddled as an attempt to reduce “teen-pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases,” but this is a ruse. We are aware of no research indicating that contraceptive-based sex-education classes have ever shown a reduction in teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. While the bill’s supporters claim “abstinence doesn’t work,” the reality is, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), most high schools students are abstinent and the trend is a growing – especially in Illinois where abstinence programs have been taught in over 1,200 schools and organizations.

Over 20 years, as abstinence programs have become more popular with schools, the national teen birth rate has fallen by a remarkable 45 percent, and in Illinois by 49 percent. The national teen pregnancy rate has fallen by 37 percent, and in Illinois by 40 percent. The CDC reports that most high school students have never had sex.