What’s happening?

Following the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that could end federal protections for abortion, young women from Baltimore share their experiences learning about abortion and sex education in high school, Mylika Scatliffe from AFRO News reports. 

How did the students describe these experiences? 

Piper Jordan, a 17-year-old rising senior at a Baltimore City public high school, said sex education was “generally regarded as a joke,” and it was only incorporated into the physical education curriculum during a health class for half of the year. Sydney Green, 19, shared a similar experience, though the sex education was primarily taught to her by her mother. 

All three women interviewed, including 19-year-old Tamara Stanford, agreed that better sex education in high school would have been beneficial. If information about sex is relayed by a teacher versus a parent, “kids might be more inclined to listen without having to worry about being uncomfortable,” Stanford said.

“Teens today are uneducated about sex, birth control and even their natural hormones but expecting abstinence is unrealistic,” said Green.

Though they didn’t learn about abortion in sex education classes, Stanford, Green, and Jordan said they worried that overturning Roe v. Wade would decrease women’s bodily autonomy. “If Roe v. Wade is overturned, that’s giving the government control over a woman’s body, and I don’t think that’s right,” Green said.  

Anything else I should know? 

While most states have guidelines related to sex education, most of the programming details are left to individual school districts. 

You can read more here.