New sex education proposal raises concerns in Laurel

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email

LAUREL, MS. (WDAM) - A proposal to change the state's current abstinence only approach to sex education in public schools was raising some concerns among teen mentors in Laurel on Wednesday.

The bill, which was sent to Governor Haley Barbour this week, aims to amend abstinence only education by providing an abstinence plus option schools can elect to incorporate into their curriculum.

Under that proposal, health information on the effectiveness of contraceptives would be offered. Additionally, classes on the subject would be separated according to gender.

However Carol Harbaugh, the Director of the Center for Pregnancy Choices in Laurel, is concerned the abstinence plus option could lead to earlier sexual activity among teens. The Center for Pregnancy Choices mentors pregnant young women.

According to Harbaugh, "I think it could and I think also the abstinence could be pushed aside and that is not as important, and lets prepare our girls to be sexually active and to protect themselves versus realizing there is another way."

That avenue would be to put having a sexual relationship on hold until marriage.

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