By James Tillman

RALEIGH, North Carolina, June 8, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – North Carolina schools are preparing to implement the "Healthy Youth Act," signed on June 30, 2009 and set to take effect in the 2010-11 school year. It states that students from 7th to 9th grade should be taught "about the effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy."

Students will be taught about male and female condoms, diaphragms, sponges, cervical caps, spermicides, oral contraceptives, contraceptive rings, the abortifacient "morning after pill," and other methods of birth control, unless their parents explicitly request that their child be excluded from these classes.

The measure was backed by the ACLU of North Carolina, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice NC, the North Carolina Association of Educators, and the "gay-rights" group Equality NC.

The original version of the bill would have required schools to offer both an abstinence-only curriculum and a comprehensive sex education program, allowing parents to decide which program their child would attend.  It was modified, however, so that students will attend "comprehensive sexual education" unless parents actively have their children excused.

Prior to the Healthy Youth Act, abstinence-only education predominated in North Carolina schools.  School boards were required to hold public hearings before schools could offer “comprehensive” sexual education. The ACLU of North Carolina hailed the law because it eliminated this requirement.  Such hearings, the ACLU stated, would now be "a thing of the past."

Nevertheless, the Healthy Youth Act also states that abstinence from sexual activity is to be taught as "the expected standard for all school-age children."  It also instructs schools to teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain means of avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Finally, it also instructs classes to teach that "a mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage is the best lifelong means of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS."

The ACLU and the homosexualist Equality NC decried such aspects of the bill.  Equality NC stated that it was "disappointed [that] the final bill left in inaccurate and discriminatory language from the existing curriculum."

But it nevertheless maintained that the law was a "huge step forward."

See related stories on LifeSiteNews.com:

Wisconsin Senate Passes Bill Banning Abstinence-Only Education in Schools
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/feb/10020112.html

Wisconsin Ponders Replacing Abstinence-Only Program with Contraceptive Sex Ed
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09103017.html