Sex ed bill passes House Committee

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior survey asks questions about things like alcohol, tobacco, and diet. It also has a sexual behavior section that Louisiana chose, many years ago, to not include on the survey. Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith wants that provision removed to measure why Louisiana's teen pregnancy and some S-T-D rates are so high.

"There are children who are having babies at 10 and 11 years old. There are babies who are being born with low rates...low weight babies," says Smith.

Teen healthcare professionals say they need the information to be more effective. Patty Kissinger, a PhD works with adolescent kids.

"We won't be able to get the interventions or the grant money to do these things if we don't have an assessment," says Kissinger. "I've personally had grants pass me by because I can't ask the questions in school."

But conservative lawmakers do not think the government should teach something so personal or be allowed to ask such questions. Representative Barry Ivey of Baton Rouge has a pre-teen daughter.

"I wouldn't want her to read the questions about do you engage in this act or whatever the format may be. Because you know what my daughter is sheltered and you know what I wouldn't want her to even see that form to be honest with you," says Ivey.

But Smith counters that teens will be teens.

"Parents tell their kids about sex and not engaging in it but how many times do you let your kids go out with a group of kids and you never know what really happens when they go out? You don't really know. You can talk to them all day, but I can tell you that there are some kids that will take risks," says Smith.

The measure now heads to the House floor.

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