Advocates for Youth Welcomes Legislation to Modernize Sex Ed and Health Care for Young People
New federal sex ed bills would help expand young people’s access to comprehensive sex ed and reproductive health care services
WASHINGTON, DC – Members of Congress today introduced two bills to increase young people’s access to high-quality, culturally competent sexual health information and the medical care they need.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) introduced the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA), which would expand access to quality sex education across the country by creating the first-ever federal funding stream for comprehensive sex education and prohibit federal funding from going toward harmful, ineffective abstinence-only programs. Currently, without a federal funding system, less than 40% of all high schools and only 14% of middle schools in the U.S. provide sex education curriculum that address all 19 of the CDC-identified topics critical to ensuring strong sexual health.
Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12) also reintroduced the Youth Access to Sexual Health Services Act (YASHS), which would provide organizations and programs with grants to equip young people from marginalized communities with medically-accurate and complete, age-appropriate information and skills on how to access and obtain sexual health care and related services.
“In this time when the Trump Administration and extremists around the country are trying to roll back our reproductive and sexual health and rights, these bills are especially important to young people. Youth have the right to lead healthy lives, and that means sex education that teaches young people about consent and helps them distinguish between healthy and unhealthy relationships. They need sex education and services that help them prevent unintended pregnancy, STIs and HIV. The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act and the Youth Access to Sexual Health Services Act are great steps toward ensuring sexual health for all young people.”,” said Debra Hauser, President of Advocates for Youth.
As part of the first-ever Sex Ed for All Month, Advocates for Youth and partner organizations launched an online campaign earlier this month calling on Congress to pass REHYA and YASHS in order to expand access to honest, factual sex education for communities facing barriers to access.
Advocates for Youth partners with youth leaders, adult allies, and youth-serving organizations to advocate for policies and champion programs that recognize young people’s rights to honest sexual health information; accessible, confidential, and affordable sexual health services; and the resources and opportunities necessary to create sexual health equity for all youth.