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Illinois Schools Must Teach Birth Control in Sex Ed

CHICAGO (AP) - Students in Illinois public schools that teach sex education will now be taught about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases - not just abstinence.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that requires schools to provide the information. It takes effect Jan. 1.  Sen. Heather Steans sponsored the bill. The Chicago Democrat says it's intended to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

It's hard to say how many schools will be affected. The Illinois State Board of Education doesn't track how many public school districts teach sex education.   But a 2008 University of Chicago study found that 93 percent of districts offer sex education. It found 65 percent of programs were what researchers considered comprehensive, including birth control and abstinence.

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