Senate committee passes controversial “Abstinence Bill”

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- A controversial bill that would require sex education teachers to teach abstinence as the gold standard for students in public schools is headed to the full Senate after passing out of committee Thursday.

Emotions ran high during this committee hearing at the capitol as senators in support of Senate Bill 71 clashed with a group of women speaking out against it.

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It only took minutes for the discussion to turn sharp during Thursday morning’s Education Committee hearing of Senate Bill 71.

The bill , which would require all public schools teach abstinence from sex outside of marriage as the “expected standard for all school-age children,” was met with strong opposition from a group of parents, educators and students from across the Commonwealth.

The group, made up of mostly women, argued the bill could lead to school districts creating abstinence-only sex ed classes which they say would hurt Kentucky’s youth.

“There’s no bill that teaches you how to protect yourself sexually. There’s no bill that teaches you how to use birth control, anything like that. This exists in a vacuum. There’s only one bill that’s talking about abstinence which is already in the standards. It’s redundant,” said Dominique Olbert, a parent in opposition to Senate Bill 71.

Senator Stephen Meredith, the sponsor of the bill, says he does not agree with that argument, saying this bill does not stop schools from teaching other aspects of sexual health, it just requires abstinence be one of those aspects.

Despite the strong opposition to the bill, it did pass through committee.