Planned Parenthood Praises Gov. Inslee and Legislative Leaders in the House and Senate for Creating a Consistent and Comprehensive Sex Ed Policy in Washington State Schools
OLYMPIA — Today, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii (PPVNH) celebrated Governor Jay Inslee’s signing of Senate Bill 5395, a significant advancement in reliable, inclusive sex education policy in Washington state. This law requires public school districts to teach age-appropriate, inclusive sexual health education to K-12 students. The bill is sponsored by reproductive health champions Sen. Claire Wilson and Rep. Monica Stonier, and took more than two years to make this bill a reality.
Sen. Claire Wilson sponsored this bill and worked tirelessly with the Senate and House to move it through the process over the past two years. Most recently in the House, Republicans forced representatives to hear dozens of bizarre amendments late into the night, making a mockery of the process.
“We are thrilled that Washington is taking bold action to expand the number of schools adhering to the strong standards that have already been in place in our state for thirteen years,” said Courtney Normand, Washington State Director for PPVNH. “Honest, accurate, and age appropriate sex education is not controversial, and the majority of our lawmakers know this, despite our opponents’ inflammatory claims. Planned Parenthood believes in the power of sex education to change lives. We know that this legislation will give our young people the tools they need for a healthy and more equitable future.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider of sex education, and works in schools and communities across the country to provide outstanding sex education programs. Every year, Planned Parenthood provides educational programs and outreach to 1.5 million people nationwide of all ages and every day. In Washington, Planned Parenthood affiliates support over half of school districts through direct classroom teaching, teacher and staff training, and lesson/material support and are committed to helping young people stay safe and healthy.
The support for SB 5395 was overwhelming, and over the past two years more than 100 people signed in to testify in support, over 24,000 constituent contacts were made to elected officials, nearly 1,000 people visited their representatives, and nearly 500 people called their legislators.
Washington state law already requires that sex ed programs be age-appropriate when offered. And study after study demonstrates that these programs help teens delay sex, improve birth control use, and/or prevent pregnancy. School districts already have a wide range of curricula and programs to choose from, ensuring they can select culturally and age-appropriate materials for their students. Parents can also review the curricula chosen by their local school district, and choose to opt their children out of sex ed.