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La. House Rejects Teen Sex Survey Bill

May 22, 2014 — The Louisiana House on Monday voted 55-38 to reject a bill (HB 393) that would have allowed questions on teen sexual health and behavior to be added back into an existing federal youth survey, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Teens nationwide are asked to respond anonymously to the CDC survey. However, Louisiana law prohibits public school students from being surveyed about sex, so nine questions on the topic have been removed from the state's version of the survey.

Debate

Prior to Monday's vote, several lawmakers said they had concerns about not knowing details about the questions ahead of time.

State Rep. Lenar Whitney (R) asked, "Won't we desensitize children when asking them about sexual activity?"

In response, state Rep. Patricia Smith (D), the bill's sponsor, said that more than 9,000 Louisiana teens ages 15 to 19 have had chlamydia infections, adding that the survey "does not desensitize the kids because they are already having sex" (O'Donoghue, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 5/20).