Milwaukee lawmakers introduce the Healthy Youth Act.
The new legislation strengthens current sex education law, and aims for more consistency statewide. It would ensure that sex ed taught in Wisconsin schools is based on using curriculum proven to reduce risky behaviors that result in unintended teenage pregnancy and STDs.
“Eleven thousand Wisconsin teens will become pregnant this year alone. And well over 85% of them will be unintended.”
State Representative Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee) cites the latest data from the Health Department, showing an increase in teen sexual activity and higher teen birth rates in counties across the state. Grigsby says it costs Wisconsin taxpayers an average of $5,100 per year when a teen younger than 17 gives birth.
State Representative Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) says it’s important for young men to understand the importance of safe sex.
“The consequences that they are going to pay if they don’t have safe sex and they are the father of a child are going to haunt them for many, many years. It’s going to impare their ability to obtain employment and go on to school. They’re going to be paying child support for many, many years.”
Parents can keep their kids out of the class, and schools can opt out of the program, but State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) says among those schools participating in sex education there must be consistency and accuracy.