Roe v. Wade: Texas revamps sex ed curriculum in wake of rising teenage pregnancies 

As many US states try to bring changes to sex education programmes in the aftermath of overturning of Roe v. Wade ruling, Texas is making a marked shift towards its “abstinence-plus” curriculum.

This is the first time the state has revised its standards for sexual health education in more than 20 years.

The abortion ban has prompted changes in sex education curriculum in Texas whereby middle schoolers are now being taught about contraceptives and  provided additional information about preventing sexually transmitted diseases, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) that has been linked to several cancers.

This is the first time that schools in Texas are going beyond the state’s minimum health standards that is used to focus only on abstinence to stop pregnancies.

Moreover, these classes are being made compulsory, whereby the parents are being forced to sign up thier kids to these health classes. 

A 2017 report revealed that 58 per cent of Texas school districts offered “abstinence-only” sexual health education, while only 17 per cent offered curriculums that expanded beyond that. Whereas, a quarter of schools offered no sex education at all.

This comes as Texas continues to have one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies at 22.4 births per 1,000 girls and women between 15 and 19 age, reports NBC news.

The lowest is in Massachusetts with is 6.1 births per 1,000 girls and women.

Moreover, Texas, along with Alabama, has the nation’s highest rate of repeat teen pregnancies. 

Currently, sex ed in Texas must still present abstinence as “the preferred choice.”  When schools teach about other forms of contraception, they are required to provide “human use reality rates” — or, as it is described in medical literature, “typical use” — that detail the effectiveness of those methods outside laboratory settings.

(With inputs from agencies)


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