St. Paul, MN – April 26, 2018, the Minnesota House voted down a proposal to allow schools to integrate information about consent into existing health programs. This common-sense proposal could have helped curb the epidemic of sexual assault.
“Sexual assault is a preventable affliction in Minnesota and our lawmakers had a chance to do something about it,” said Sarah Stoesz, President of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund. “Instead, Republican leadership turned their backs on young people and voted against this common-sense proposal.”
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, in 2005 alone, 61,000 Minnesota children and adults were sexually assaulted, some of them more than once, for a total of 77,000 assaults. The victims would overflow the new Twins stadium. Of the 61,000, 80 percent were female, and 29 percent were under age 18.
“At a time when sexual harassment and sexual violence are in the forefront, we must take action to empower the next generation,” added Stoesz. “Education is critical to create a new culture of consent and transform our communities. Schools are key partners to equip young people with the knowledge they need to protect themselves and each other from sexual violence.”
As the largest provider of sex education in Minnesota, Planned Parenthood reaches more than 40,000 people each year with information about healthy relationships and consent. “Young people need to know how to recognize what sexual violence and harassment looks like, how to stop it from happening, and how to avoid becoming perpetrators,” added Migdalia Loyola, who directs Planned Parenthood’s education work. “Consent education as part of a broader health curriculum is a natural fit for teaching these lessons.”
Founded in 1992, the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization. As the advocacy and electoral arm of PPMNS, we mobilize supporters of all parties to defend and increase access to family planning services and fact based, medically accurate sexuality education. We work to inspire and engage citizens to take up the cause of reproductive health and rights through education, electoral activity, grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy.