How unfortunate for the young people of Iowa that Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Republican Legislature refused to fund the provision of comprehensive sex education by Planned Parenthood. They have reduced the availability of providers of sex education solely because of their own personal objections to abortion and Planned Parenthood, even though 77 percent of Iowans support funding Planned Parenthood’s family planning services.
Evidence shows that when comprehensive sex education is provided to students, they are more likely to delay sex and that their relationships will be healthier both mentally and physically. Planned Parenthood has been a key player in teen pregnancy prevention coalitions that have been funded since 1987, which apparently have worked, as teen pregnancies in Iowa are at historic lows. However, there still is a need for education to reduce rates of STIs. This is included in the high-quality sex education provided by Planned Parenthood, which is also age-appropriate, medically accurate, and strongly encourages communication between parents and children about their values and making healthy decisions.
Young people deserve the sex education and health care needed to keep them healthy and be responsible in planning their futures. This last-minute amendment does not further this reasonable expectation.