The Iowa General Assembly is trying to pass a sex education mandate for K-12 students in public and accredited non-public schools throughout Iowa. The bill in the Iowa House is HF 611 and in the Iowa Senate is SF 43. This would be horrible legislation, and is basically Planned Parenthood’s wish list for sex education in the state of Iowa short of making it completely compulsory.

I believe, first and foremost that Iowa does not need another sex education mandate from the General Assembly. With almost 15 years of youth ministry experience under my belt (almost half of that time being spent with at-risk/high-risk kids) I believe that “comprehensive” sex education does more harm than good (and have seen the results first hand). These kids need to hear that abstinence and abstinence alone is the only 100% foolproof way to avoid contracting an STD or experiencing an unplanned pregnancy (not to mention some of the emotional & relational turmoil that can result in engaging in premarital sex). For a well thought out argument against “comprehensive” sex education check out this article.
I am also troubled by the language of the bill:
  • The mandate in both bills is for “research-based” (House version) or “science-based” (Senate version). This will place abstinence as one option among many. I do have to say that at least the Senate version of the bill mentions abstinence as being the only sure way to avoid an STD and pregnancy, one can be sure little time will be spent on that subject.
  • “Age-appropriate” – who decides this? Planned Parenthood (who are the ones behind this legislation)? I believe that the family has the primary responsibility to train children about sex, not the school. While both bills offer an opt out option for families, I have to wonder how clear school districts will make that information known to parents.
  • Lastly in the Senate bill it mentions that this mandate will apply to accredited non-public schools. So schools like Des Moines Christian, Iowa Christian Academy, and Dowling Catholic High School (among others throughout the state) will have to teach “research-based” sex education curriculum. I didn’t see an opt out option for schools – if somebody sees it, please let me know.

There are other issues I have with these bills, but those are the major issues. I highly encourage you contact your legislators today as they will be debating on these bills this week. If you have time to contact all of the legislators I would encourage you to do so. I have all of their e-mail addresses in my Outlook, so it was relatively easy for me to do. Those legislators who are standing against this bill need our encouragement that they do not stand alone. Those who are in favor of this need to know that they are not doing Iowa’s kids any favors. This issue is important enough in my mind that I plan on visiting my legislators at the Statehouse today. So you can pray about that.

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