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New Wisconsin Law: Sex Ed. Must Include Birth Control

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has just signed legislation that requires the state's public schools to teach about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases as part of comprehensive sex education classes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Apparently, the new law still leaves it up to local school boards to decide whether to offer sex education courses. But starting next school year, those districts that do will have to include information about how to use condoms and other forms of birth control and describe their benefits and side effects, the newspaper explains. They will also have to tell students how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Parents will be able to remove their children from sex ed. classes, as they can now.

The bill was reportedly opposed by all Republicans in both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature.

Meanwhile, in Utah, a Republican state senator says he's dropping a proposal that would have clarified that teachers can talk about contraception, after a Senate committee refused to discuss it, the Associated Press reports. The bill by Sen. Stephen Urquhart would have directed the Utah education agency to develop materials on contraception for teachers to use. You can hear about the matter straight from Sen. Urquhart on his blog.

The developments come as earlier this month, I blogged about a new, federally financed study that looked at one experimental, abstinence-only approach to sex education. It found that particular program can delay young teenagers from engaging in sexual activity.

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