Massachusetts governor under fire for safe sex website
A Massachusetts state-run website that provides teen sex education information is under fire, as some residents feel that the site is inappropriate for young people. The State Department of Public Health continues to voice its support for the website, according to Boston's CW56.
"As a father of two young children, I find this website to be a disgusting abuse of taxpayer dollars," state representative Marc Lombardo of Bellerica told the news source.
The website is narrated by a fictional character named Maria, who is meant to be 18-years-old. The site features information about sexually transmitted infections, condom FAQs such as how to use a condom, and information about pregnancy prevention. While this information may be useful for teens who are sexually active, some lawmakers feel it should not be subsidized by government money.
There is also information about emergency contraception, sexual violence and a helpline that young people can call to talk to a live representative.
According to the Boston Herald, the website is funded by a $100,000 annual grant, and is hosted by the AIDS Action Committee.
An article in The Massachusetts Daily Collegian urges lawmakers to save the website. The publication claims that the information found on Maria Talks can often be difficult for teenagers to locate in other mediums. The newspaper argues that the website acts as a form of STD prevention and could also help curb the teen pregnancy rate in the state.
According to Advocates for Youth, many organizations support teen sex education, such as The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association and the Institute of Medicine. The organization states that the most effective programs give accurate information about how to use a condom.