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Changes to S.C. Teen Health Face Objection

February 11, 2016 - Posted in Palmetto Scene by K. Blackwell

Two bills dealing with teen health have stalled in the Senate after a speedy passage in the House. The two bills, one that would amend the current Comprehensive Health Education law and the Cervical Cancer Prevention bill, had objections placed on them by two Upstate Senators, Mike Fair and Lee Bright. 

The first of the two, the Comprehensive Health Education bill, deals with updating the way teachers teach sex education in public schools. The current methods of teaching have not been changed since the late '80s. Forrest Alton of the S.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy says that this is not an "overhaul" of the current sex education practices. "We just want to make sure what's being taught is up-to-date, comprehensive and medically accurate," Alton said. Senator Mike Fair of Greenville placed an objection on the bill, saying that the current law is working just fine, and he pointed to the lowering of the teen pregnancy rates as a sign. 

The Cervical Cancer Prevention bill would require that the Health Department include information about the HPV vaccine in the list of recommended, age-appropriate vaccine information. Eme Crawford of Tell Them, said this bill isn't requiring anyone to get the vaccine, it is just asking that parents be given the information. Senator Lee Bright placed an objection on the bill saying he had questions about the concerns of some skeptics that have said it can cause dangerous side effects. 

An objection can be placed on a bill by any Senator who needs more time to review the bill or disagrees with what the bill is trying to accomplish. 

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