Florida Proposes Restrictive Health Education Curriculum
Florida lawmakers proposed a bill that would ban people in grade six or below from discussing their periods in school. This bill seeks to limit instructions on sexual and reproductive health, which includes information about menstrual cycles, for grades six through twelve. Another state representative brought up the fact that people begin their periods anywhere between age 10 to 15, noting that the earlier ages correlate with grades four and five. These are grades that would be excluded from accessing information about their reproductive health, despite experiencing some of its more foundational changes. This bill passed in the subcommittee.
This law is part of a group of laws proposed by Florida’s Republican lawmakers related to gender and sexuality, as well as to state curriculums.
Reproductive health education has a profound impact on reproductive health outcomes and helps to decrease risky sexual behaviors that can lead to unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Florida’s health metrics around reproductive health outcomes generally land in the lower tier across all states. For example, Florida has the 16th highest maternal mortality rate out of all the US states and a teen birth rate of 15.6 (births per 1,000 females 15-19 years of age). The range of teen birth rates by state is 27.9 in Mississippi and 6.1 in Massachusetts, suggesting Florida skews slightly to the higher end of states with teen births.
Additionally, Florida has restricted access to abortion after 15 weeks.
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At Stix, we know the importance of accessible, accurate and digestible sexual and reproductive health education. We also know that knowledge is not enough. That’s why we also have the tools you need, like condoms, ovulation tests, and Restart™ (our morning-after pill), to help keep you healthy, and to give you control over your own body.
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