Wisconsin Healthy Youth Act Signed Into Law

This week, Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin signed the Healthy Youth Act into law, requiring that all sexual education classes taught in Wisconsin schools be medically-accurate, age-appropriate, and use evidence-based strategies to reduce teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

The Healthy Youth Act was overwhelmingly supported by both local public health groups and legislators alike, easily passing through the state assembly.

“This is
truly a historic moment in Wisconsin, because today’s signing takes
place after ten years of advocacy for reform,” said Teri Huyck, President of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin in a press release. “With high teen birth rates and exploding STD rates
throughout the state, it’s about time lawmakers took action to halt the
public health crisis facing Wisconsin.  We applaud the Governor and all
members of the Legislature who took action to pass this legislation,
especially the bill’s cosponsors Senator Lena Taylor and Representative
Tamara Grigsby.”

Passage of the Healthy Youth Act couldn’t come at a better time for Wisconsin.  Much like the rest of the country, rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are on the upswing in the state.  Between 1997 and 2007, for example, infections among teens ages 15 to 19 increased by 53 percent.

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