The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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NARAL Pro-Choice America Praises Introduction of Lautenberg-Lee REAL Act


Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice American and a former
teacher and state education official, today praised Sen. Frank
Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) for leading the effort to
establish the first-ever federal program for comprehensive sex

The Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act would fund honest,
realistic sex education for young people in public schools around the

"This bill reflects the American value that our teens should get
honest, realistic information in the classroom," Keenan said. "As
someone who spent 25 years as a teacher and state education official in
Montana, I commend Sen. Lautenberg, Rep. Lee, and all the bill's
supporters for answering the public's call to move away from the failed
Bush-backed 'abstinence-only' policy. Americans, especially parents,
want to provide teens with the truth about contraception and other ways
to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and avoid unintended
pregnancy. The parents I talk to believe that values are taught at home
and the facts are taught at school. The REAL Act reflects this

This year, in a departure from years past, Congress heeded the
public's call for a focus on commonsense solutions to prevent
unintended pregnancies and to cut funding for failed "abstinence-only"
programs of the Bush era by $14 million.

Currently, states and localities can only receive federal funding if
they agree to teach "abstinence-only" programs in their schools. That
means teachers must censor information about the health benefits of
contraception. Under the REAL Act, states could apply for federal
funding to teach honest and age appropriate sex-education classes in
their schools.

NARAL Pro-Choice America will continue to work with lawmakers to advance this legislative measure as a part of its Prevention FirstPrevention First
initiative in 2005 to advance commonsense policy solutions to prevent
unintended pregnancies and therefore reduce the need for abortion. initiative. NARAL Pro-Choice America launched the

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For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.