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Ohio House vote nears on abstinence-only sex-ed rule

COLUMBUS — A pro-abstinence sex education amendment inserted into Ohio's state budget appears headed to a floor vote Thursday in the Ohio House.

The proposal, sponsored by House Health Chairman Lynn Wachtmann, bars educators from promoting “gateway sexual activity” or distributing contraceptives on school property.

It also requires instructors to endorse abstinence from sex as the only way to remove all risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Violators could be sued and face civil penalties of up to $5,000.

Wachtmann told The Columbus Dispatch it was “pretty much” an abstinence-only rule.

The provision mirrors a Tennessee law enacted last year that was spurred by a classroom demonstration involving a sex toy. Difficulty among Tennessee lawmakers to define “gateway sexual activity” prohibited under the law gained it the “no holding-hands bill” nickname.

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