NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina
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Sex Education

NARAL Pro-Choice NC strongly supports medically-accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education programs as a vital part of any adolescent pregnancy prevention and health promotion effort. Click here to read our information sheet on Comprehensive Sex Education.

Medically-accurate, comprehensive sex education that includes lessons on abstinence and delaying sexual activity, having healthy relationships, and preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) helps ensure adolescents have the life skills they need to make informed, responsible decisions for years to come.

Teenage pregnancy and STI incidence rates are two major public health crises in North Carolina. 
  • North Carolina is consistently ranked ninth in the nation for teen pregnancy rates [1].
  • 67% of North Carolina’s reported STD cases in 2008 occurred within people ages 15-24 [2]. 
  • Misinformation about safe sex practices is believed to be one contributing factor to teen pregnancy and STI incidence rates [3]

Programs that teach only abstinence-until-marriage while ignoring important lessons on STIs and unintended pregnancy prevention do a disservice to our youth and leave them vulnerable to negative health consequences in the future. Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs do no not prevent adolescents from having sex; it only prevents them from receiving the knowledge they will need to protect their health if they do become sexually active.


North Carolina Sexuality Education Law and Policy
In 2009, the North Carolina General Assembly changed our state's sexuality education law with the passage of the Healthy Youth Act. North Carolina public schools are now required to present information that is factually accurate, objective, and based on scientific research that is peer reviewed and accepted by professionals and credentialed experts in the field of sexual health education.

The Healthy Youth Act replaced the antiquated, ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum that had been in place for 15 years.

We are proud to have advocated for this legislation and are proud to continue working to ensure that the Healthy Youth Act is implemented in every school district in North Carolina.


The Guttmacher Institute created this chart of what sex education in each state does and doesn't include.

For more information on national comprehensive sex education initiatives, please visit NARAL Pro-Choice America's website.


Sources:
[1] North Carolina Healthy Schools. (n.d.). North Carolina Healthy Schools. Retrieved August 15, 2011, from http://www.nchealthyschools.org/teenpregnancy

[2] Healthy Youth Act - Healthy Youth North Carolina Coalition. (n.d.). Home - Healthy Youth North Carolina Coalition. Retrieved August 14, 2011, from http://healthyyouthact.org/healthy-youth-act/

[3] NARAL Pro-Choice America Statement on Rise in Teen-Pregnancy Rate. NARAL Pro-Choice America. (n.d.). NARAL Pro-Choice America. Retrieved August 13, 2011, from http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/media/press-releases/2010/or01262010_riseteenpreg.html

 
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