As the Washington Post notes, the uptick in teen birth rates and abortion rates come as the Senate is considering restoring $50 million in federal funds to groups that teach abstinence education (Obama cut $150 million from these groups). Those groups are exactly who progressives are blaming for the backslide on sexual health: how can teens learn how to make realistic life choices when school districts ban dictionaries that define 'oral sex' and an estimated 30 percent of American schools taught abstinence-only sex ed? Better sex education will lower the rate of unwanted pregnancies, meaning less abortions and less teen parents. Isn't that what we all want?
So how does Oregon's sex education shape up? The state passed a bill last year that requires all public schools to teach age-appropriate, medically accurate sex-education courses. Until now, the state's patchy funding has lead to abstinence-only education groups like The Students Today Aren't Ready for Sex (STARS) filling in the gaps by jumping at the chance to flesh out schools' absent or bare-bones health programs. But abstinence only education is not considered "medically accurate" under the new law. Providing good health education to all Oregon school kids, though, will certainly require hiring new teachers and writing a state-wide curriculum. That takes money.
More about Oregon's sex ed: conversations with Portland sex ed teachers.