Want to Change MO's Abstinence-Obsessed Sex-Ed Laws? Not in This Legislature
Here's the HB 1904 as Smith intended. It includes provisions for broader contraception education and strikes the current law's moralizing language.
(Note: The regular text is the existing language of the state statute; text in bold represents Smith's additions; brackets represent the portions Smith wanted to cut out.)
And here's the bill that was voted out of committee on April 1. The language was amended using what's known as a House Committee Substitute (HCS). Here, the bold text are the committee's additions. The major provisions of Smith's original bill are gone.
"The whole spirit of the bill is pretty much gutted," Smith laments. "Some of the conservative members of the legislature tend to think people live in a cave."
The brunt of his frustration, Smith adds, revolves around the committee's decision to cut out more comprehensive education about STDs.
"We know that the only way to stop a pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection is to abstain from sex, but if students aren't going to follow that, they need to know about the other infections, the other things that are out there."