KDHE head says abstinence-only ‘isn’t enough’

Kansas’ top health official says abstinence-only education isn’t enough to reduce unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman said Thursday that the department could help reduce unwanted pregnancies and the demand for abortions by broadening educational offerings to emphasize contraception. Lee suggested collaboration among the state, county health departments and school districts.

In an interview with the Capital-Journal editorial advisory board Norman also supported enhancement of rural hospital trauma systems, development of a needle exchange program for drug users and training to improve early detection of autism in children.

Norman said he would support a state program to provide clean syringes to illegal drug users aimed at reducing the spread of disease.

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