Hirono reintroduces Real Education and Access for Healthy Youth Act
The Real Education and Access for Healthy Youth Act has been reintroduced by U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
They say it will help strengthen access to sex education and sexual health services for young adults, particularly those most impacted by barriers to sex education and access to care.
Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
“Currently, too many young people across our country are deprived of access to comprehensive, evidence-based sex education and sexual health services,” said Sen. Hirono.
Currently, 38 states and the District of Columbia require sex education or Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) education, and when sex education is taught, 13 states do not require the content to be evidence-informed, medically accurate and complete, age and developmentally appropriate, or culturally responsive.
Additionally, many sex education programs and sexual health services are inaccessible or do not meet the needs of young people who are LGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous, or from other marginalized communities.
The Real Education and Access for Healthy Youth Act would offer the first federal grants for comprehensive sex education programs in the United States and end investments in harmful Title V abstinence-only programs.
These grants would fund programs at high schools, colleges, and organizations to support the sexual health and agency of students and young people. This legislation would also require program grantees to promote gender equity and offer instruction that is inclusive of young people with varying gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations.
In addition to Senators Hirono and Booker, the bill has been co-sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).