Mission America

Christian Commentary on the Culture

VICTORY! Abstinence Standard Preserved through Ohio Budget

Linda Harvey

“Parents Right to Know” signed by Governor, Includes most provisions of HB 240

We are blessed to live in a country where elections matter— at least in Ohio— and our state has a majority of sensible Republicans occupying the Statehouse.

And, we live in a state where concerned grass roots parents— like you— can make their voices heard and make a huge difference!

So it was with great joy that Mission America, along with Ohio Value Voters and others, learned that most of the provisions of House Bill 240, the “Parents Right to Know Act,” were included in the recently signed Ohio budget!

There will be no need for additional hearings on the “Parents Right to Know Act” to preserve the abstinence sex education standard in Ohio. It’s a huge victory and we just praise God for this protection of Ohio children.

Big thanks to the co-sponsors of HB 240, Representatives Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Twp) and Sarah Fowler Arthur (R- Ashtabula).

Here’s the situation. In Ohio, we already had a law passed in 1999 that establishes abstinence until marriage as the focus for sex education in Ohio. But what have individual school systems been doing? That is the question, and although we are blessed that many are adhering to this standard, we also know that there are some that allow reckless, high-risk, Planned Parenthood- type sex education to be taught in their schools. And there’s been little accountability on this.

So the language of HB 240 (the key provisions of which are now law, through the signed budget) mandates that sex education in Ohio should provide students the high standard of abstaining from sex until marriage, and teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100% effective against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

This bill also required schools to inform parents completely, with details, if they plan to teach any other type of sex education. And then schools must have written permission from parents before they teach this alternative form of sex ed. Parents must “opt-in.”

In other words, no more sneaking around to introduce students to obscene, pornographic, pro-homosexual, pro-abortion, and pro-gender-deviance lessons to your children, unless of course, parents want that. As we know, the vast majority of parents when they learn these details do not want this taught to their children. And now these stealth programs will see the light of day if reckless schools intend to go this direction.

The bill re-emphasizes the current abstinence law, as well as adding this new requirement to inform parents. The other important thing this bill does is to require the Ohio Department of Education to produce an annual audit of school systems about their compliance with the abstinence requirement, and it must be published on the state board website.

We are very thankful for all the work done behind the scenes to bring this about. We ask each of YOU to keep an eye on your local schools, and to encourage the teaching of abstinence education ( also called “sexual risk avoidance” ) in your child’s school.