The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA) and the Youth Access to Sexual Health Services Act (YASHS) have been reintroduced into the 116th session of Congress, and it’s high time that these important bills were passed.
YASHS would provide new federal grants for comprehensive sex education and contraceptive services for young people, focusing on access for racial minorities and LGBTQ+ young people. REHYA would set program standards for receiving sex ed funding, such as ensuring that all educational materials are medically accurate and based on sound science. Grants could not be used for abstinence-only sex education, or for services that promote gender stereotypes, or are insensitive to the needs of LGBTQ+ people, sexually active youth, pregnant or parenting youth, and survivors of sexual abuse or assault.
The many benefits of accurate, comprehensive, and inclusive sexual education are well-proven. But much of America lacks access to this basic information. If sex education is given at all, it is a harmful abstinence-only model that makes our teens fearful of getting the support that they need.
These vital bills could help turn the tide—write to your representatives to express your support for them.