Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that Coastline Women’s Health Center focuses on abstinence and is not affiliated with and does not support House Bill 3890.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Coastline Women’s Health Center believes that better sexual education in schools would lead to better informed decisions about unplanned pregnancy.
Coastline Women’s Health Center is one of 25 pregnancy clinics in the state of South Carolina and the only pregnancy clinic in Horry County. It’s not an OB-GYN office.
Their mission is to educate, empower and support women facing unplanned pregnancies. It doesn’t perform abortions.
Founder and CEO, Jeannie Smith, said she can tell that sex education is lacking in schools.
“There’s just a lack of education in all of my conversations,” Smith said. “I’m just blown away by the lack of education.”
She said many people come into the the office confused, which she said stems back to the caliber of sex education offered in public schools.
“Our education fund is just gone away, so there’s no sex education,” Smith said. “We need to implement that back into the school systems, and we need to do it in a healthy way.”
Horry County School District follows the South Carolina Academic Standards for Health and Safety Education set forth by the South Carolina Department of Education.
The standards include guidance for schools on topics that range from nutrition and exercise to sexual education and mental health.
Key points in their sexual education guidelines include:
- Identify steps in a decision-making process that promotes abstinence
- Describe the advantages of abstinence
- Discuss the advantages of abstinence
- Promote access to valid information and community resources that support abstinence
House Bill 3890 is currently pending in the South Carolina legislature. The key points push for more comprehensive sex education.
- Removing the requirement to stress abstinence within sex education instruction
- Include instruction on hormonal methods of contraception
- Include instruction on consent education
Coastline Women’s Health Center is not affiliated with House Bill 3980 and does not support the bill.
Smith said that more comprehensive education will be beneficial to young adults.
“From those middle school to early high school years, what choices do they need to make today?” Smith said. “The choices that they make today are going to affect their tomorrows and their future.”