Utah Senate OK's Abstinence-Only Sex Ed

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Utah lawmakers have passed a bill that would require schools to teach abstinence-only sex education.

The measure, which senators approved in a 19-10 vote Tuesday, would also ban schools from teaching about homosexuality, contraception, or pre-marital sex.

Schools will be able to opt out of teaching sex education all together.

"It is important for us to go a step further from abstinence-plus to abstinence-only so that the state Office of Education can remove the endorsement of Planned Parenthood from their website," Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, the bill's sponsor, said.

Supporters of the measure say sex education should be taught at home.

"My problem is we're having essentially complete strangers teaching our children, who frankly, we don't know who they are and exactly what they're teaching (about) the most sensitive issues that...belong in the home," the supporter said.

Critics argue, however, that not all students have parents who will talk with their children about sex.

"I believe knowledge is the most important aspect in anyone's lives," Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, said. "A child needs the right and correct answer."

The bill will now go to the governor, who is expected to sign it into law.

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