Senators maintain in draft bill the sanitary education term instead of sexual education, as well as the parents’ consent

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The law on sexual education to be taught in schools remains in the initial version. The subject will be named sanitary education and the children will be able to attend the classes only with the parents’ consent. The bill has been debated in the Senate and the senators preserved the initial law and the initial names, after President Klaus Iohannis had asked for the law’s re-examination so that the term of sexual education should be clearly mentioned.

Sociologist Gelu Duminica told Digi24 that the law’s not being amended and terms revised will impact on Romania, which ranks 2nd in EU on minor moms. “This way we’ll throw 14,000-15,000 girls on the fringes of society on an annual basis”, the sociologist argued.

Only USR-PLUS said that the term “sanitary education” should be replaced by “sexual educational”, while the MPs from the other parties opposed such an amendment, as well as the the removal of the parents’ consent for children to study this subject at school.

In statistics, over 15,000 minor girls are getting pregnant in Romania on an annual basis, and the number is on the rise, by 1,000-2,000 cases from one year to another, according to sociologist Gelu Duminică.

He explained that these figures are increasing precisely amid ignorance. “Still many of us are raising our kids with the explanation that <it is the stork who brings babies> and we teach them to be ashamed of their sexuality and they end up to take out their information from other sources than the credible ones. We still have girls who believe they are getting pregnant if they kiss.

One of the main reasons for this concerning figure is ignorance, the lack of knowledge. The knowledge must come through the family and through the school. I don’t understand in what world the lawmakers are living, but I would invite the ones to resistant to this topic to come with me in the communities where such realities are at every turn and to tell them that it’s good to start their sexual life at 13 while being in the dark”, sociologist underlined.

In November 2020 president Klaus Iohannis asked the Senate to re-examine the draft law on protecting and promoting the children’s rights through which the Parliament replaced the term of “sexual education” with “sanitary education” and conditioned the pupils’ attending these classes on their parents’ consent.

The bill had been previously challenged by the head of state to the Constitutional Court, by the CCR judges ruled that it is constitutional.

In its re-examination request, the President argues that the law does not define “the sanitary education”. He also criticized the removal of the reference “at least once per semester”, saying that it is not clear if the lawmakers wanted to turn the school subject into a yearly one or, on the contrary, the guarantee is cut that pupils will be able to benefit of the education programmes at least once per semester.

At the same time, Iohannis claimed that it is unclear the moment when the parent should give its consent for his child to be taught sanitary education and if this term also comprises programmes to prevent the transmission of sexual diseases and of pregnancy among minor girls.

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