"Abstinence Plus" program could be taught in schools - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

"Abstinence Plus" program could be taught in schools

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Sex education in the state could be taken one step further with the "Abstinence Plus" program that passed in the Mississippi State House of Representatives last week.

The program, known as House Bill 837, would give parents the option of allowing their children to be taught about various contraceptive methods as opposed to being taught abstinence only.

"Just simply saying 'no' hasn't been as effective as it should be," said Rep. Greg Holloway of Claiborne.

Holloway and other lawmakers said they're trying to reduce the high number of teen birth and pregnancy rate in the state.

However, groups like Students Taking A Radical Stand or STAR disagree with lawmakers' approach. They say nationwide research conducted by the Center for Disease Control shows that abstinence only programs in schools have worked and that other programs would cost the state more money.

"Comprehensive sex education programs, they have been funded at four times the level of abstinence education programs," said the STAR program director, Larry McAdoo.

Rep. Holloway disagrees saying Mississippi has already spent too much money on this issue, and if this number could be reduced by 50 percent in the next five years, the state could save millions.

"We could save at least a 130 million dollars," he said.

McAdoo agreed that something needs to be done. It's just a question of how the state approaches it.

"Stand for the right thing," McAdoo said.

The Abstinence Plus bill passed in the house last week and is now being reviewed by the senate.

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