On Wednesday Sen. Greg Leding (D – Fayetteville) and Rep. Megan Godfrey (D – Springdale) filed S.B. 655.
This bad bill implements comprehensive sex-education in public schools in Arkansas. Comprehensive sex-education generally promotes contraceptives over and above abstinence.
We know from experience that these programs aren’t effective at preventing teen pregnancy and teen abortion.
In the 1980s and 1990s liberals in Arkansas promoted sex-education programs like the ones that S.B. 655 would implement.
From 1991 to 1997 Arkansas’ teen birthrate decreased by 11% and Arkansas teen abortion rate decreased by 18%.
In 1997 the Arkansas Legislature and the Huckabee Administration began promoting abstinence education in Arkansas.
From 1997 to 2005, Arkansas’ teen birthrate decreased 17%, but Arkansas’ teen abortion rate plummeted a staggering 48%.
Governor Huckabee’s abstinence education model was so successful in Arkansas that it drew national recognition.
In 2016 — while President Barack Obama was still in office — the federal Centers for Disease Control released a 208-page report concluding teenagers who practice abstinence are healthier in nearly every way than teenagers who are sexually active.
The CDC’s report looked at everything from seatbelt and bike helmet use to substance abuse, diet, exercise, and even tanning bed use.
Their conclusion was that sexually-active teens were less healthy and engaged in riskier behavior.
Unfortunately, legislation like S.B. 655 encourages teenagers to be sexually-active — which is linked to other unhealthy decisions.
Simply put, if the state is serious about promoting teen health and decreasing abortion and teen birthrates, then history and data both prove that abstinence education is the right way to go.
Below is a table showing teen birthrate and teen abortion rate numbers for Arkansas from 1990 – 2017, the most recent year for which we have calculated figures on abortion rates in Arkansas.
|Year||Arkansas Teen Birthrate||Arkansas Teen Abortion Rate|