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Democrats introduce comprehensive sex education bill

Democrats introduce comprehensive sex education bill

U.S. Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Thursday introduced a bill that would provide $206 million for comprehensive sex education programs nationwide in response to President Bush's call for $206 million in abstinence-only funds for fiscal year 2006. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) are cosponsoring a Senate bill. Lee's measure, the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act," would provide federal funding to state education programs that provide medically accurate information about the prevention of pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases, including information about both abstinence and condom use. The bill, which has 65 cosponsors, is aimed at matching "dollar for dollar" the amount of federal money requested for abstinence-only education. "For years, taxpayer dollars have been flooding into unproven abstinence-only programs while there's no federal program that's dedicated to the comprehensive view," Lautenberg told The Washington Times. He added that abstinence programs provide young people with only "half the story, and they need the full picture." Democrats expect intense opposition to the bill from conservative members of Congress who support abstinence-only approaches to sex education and HIV prevention.

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