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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gayle Ruzicka, head of the Utah Eagle Forum, finds her seat as Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, prepares to push HB363, outlawing public schools from teaching about contraception. The bill was amended to remove that prohibition, but it still allows school districts to drop sex education entirely. It narrowly passed committee on its way to the full House.
Legislature watch: The sex edition ...

- Reckless ignorance: No-sex-ed bill is asinine - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Just when you thought the archaic, reckless attitude toward sex education of a group of conservative Utah legislators couldn’t get any worse, it does.

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In debating and amending Rep. Bill Wright’s misguided HB363, the House made it even more onerous and then passed the new, more insidious version.

If HB363 were to pass the Senate and become law, Utah children would become still more ignorant about the workings of their own bodies and more vulnerable to disease and unwanted childhood pregnancies and abortions.

Whether Wright, a Republican, and his Eagle Forum collaborators want to admit it, knowledge is the only sure weapon that parents and educators have to arm young people against harmful sexual practices. Pretending that teenagers will have no interest in sex if it is not taught in school is simply asinine. ...

- Pols' sexual hang-ups - Ogden Standard Examiner Editorial

If Utah state Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, and 44 of his House colleagues have a problem dealing with sex, can't they find counseling for their hang ups? We don't care what they do to themselves, but why do they have to inflict their dysfunctions on Utah teens in public schools? ...

- Let Utah voters, not legislators, decide on sex education for their kids - Peg McEntee, The Salt Lake Tribune

Sex education in Utah schools has always been regarded with deep suspicion in some quarters, most recently by Republican Rep. Bill Wright, the Sutherland Institute and, of course, the Utah Eagle Forum.

Now that merry band wants to eliminate any word of contraception in public and charter school health classes and focus exclusively on abstinence before marriage and fidelity after.

I’m sorry, but that’s just nuts. ...

- Condom conflict - Los Angeles Daily News Editorial

... Why is there still a contraception controversy in 2012? What's the point of further debate about the wisdom of contraception? Wasn't this generally settled in the last century, before any of today's teens were gleams in their mothers' and fathers' eyes? ...

- An unpleasant test that saves lives - Oregonian Editorial

Ooops. Sorry. That one is about colonoscopies, not contraception. Oh, well, maybe we'd all better get one, before the Utah Legislature bans those, too.

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