Last week, New Jersey lost a great representative—and the United States lost a great statesman—Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. During his five terms, Senator Lautenberg courageously stood up to big business and supported legislation that improved all of our lives—from a ban on smoking on commercial airlines to support for motorcycle-helmet laws. We appreciate all of Senator Lautenberg’s hard work, but what we at Answer will remember him most for is his steadfast support of comprehensive sexuality education.
For years, Senator Lautenberg championed legislation that would help to ensure that young people receive age-appropriate, medically accurate information about sexuality. In February, he and Senator Barbara Lee (D-CA) reintroduced the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, which is an invaluable step in funding programs that are informed by research and based on best practices.
Senator Lautenberg was the oldest member of the U.S. Senate, and with age comes wisdom; he knew that if young people are to grow into healthy adults, they deserve access to the information and skills they need to make smart decisions about sexuality, both now and well into the future. We are grateful for Senator Lautenberg’s leadership and his unwavering belief in and respect for the rights of young people nationwide. We will truly miss him.