In response to the Massachusetts Senate’s 31-6 vote today in favor of passing S. 2113, the Healthy Youth Act, Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, released the following statement:
“We applaud the Massachusetts Senate for voting to ensure young people across the state have accurate and age-appropriate sexuality education to help them form respectful relationships, develop strong communication skills, and make healthy, informed decisions. By passing S.2113, the Healthy Youth Act today, the Massachusetts Senate has taken a step forward in the fight to protect reproductive rights for some of the most vulnerable Bay Staters. Empowering young people to take control of their sexual and reproductive well-being is an essential part of reproductive freedom. We encourage the Massachusetts House of Representatives to bring this bill quickly to a vote.”
An Act Relative to Healthy Youth (S.2113) ensures that a Massachusetts school electing to teach sex education uses a curriculum that is medically accurate, age-appropriate, and truly comprehensive. A comprehensive sex education curriculum teaches students about the benefits of abstinence and delaying sex, building healthy relationships, consent, gender identity and sexual orientation, effective contraceptive use, and the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
“This bill is also an essential response to prove that the Commonwealth will not participate in the increasingly anti-choice, anti-science climate in Washington,” Holder continued. “Just this week, the Trump administration cut millions of dollars in funding to teen pregnancy prevention programs nationwide, making it clear how little regard they have for the sexual and reproductive health of this country’s youth. Our Commonwealth has a responsibility to counteract troubling federal developments like this one by equipping young people with the knowledge that will enable them to lead healthy lives, make healthy choices, and be agents of their own reproductive freedom.”