Romney himself once indicated support for teaching "age-appropriate" sex education. In 2002 questionnaire from Planned Parenthood, Romney checked yes to a question that asked: "Do you support the teaching of responsible, age-appropriate, factually accurate health and sexuality education, including information about both abstinence and contraception, in public schools?"
Even though Romney supported the concept of "age appropriate" sex education, his position differs from Obama's in that he personally believes that it is never appropriate to teach any aspect of sex education to someone in kindergarten.
"The issue is whether children in kindergarten should be taught science-based sex education which is what Obama said he favors. Gov. Romney does not support that," said Fehrnstrom. "Let's let our 5-year olds be 5-year olds. When students are old enough for sex education they should be taught abstinence as part of their health curriculum and that marriage should come before babies."
Romney himself underscored this point while campaigning in Colorado on Wednesday.
"How much sex education is age appropriate for a 5-year-old?" asked Romney. "In my view, zero is the right amount. Instead of teaching about sex education in kindergarten to 5-year-olds let's clean up the ocean of filth, the cesspool in which our children are swimming."
What Obama and Massachusetts Share
What the Massachusetts framework and the Obama-supported Illinois legislation share in common is their ambiguity on exactly when particular sex education lessons are to be taught. The Obama legislation would have taken the state's entire sex education standards, which related to 6th through 12th grade, and applied them to all of K-12. The Massachusetts framework merely indicates how early certain lessons can begin and by which date they are to be done. Certain goals are to be reached by the end of grade 5, other goals are to be reached by the end of grade 8, and a third set of goals are to be reached by the end of grade 12.
"How they teach it, when they teach it, is their decision," Heidi Guarino, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts department of education, said of the state's school districts.
Although a Massachusetts school district could teach pre-kindergarten students elements of sex education and still be in compliance with the state's framework, Fehrnstrom told ABC News "anecdotally" that sex ed does not begin in most school districts until grade 5.
Fehrnstrom said the 5th grade start make sense "since there are benchmarks/standards that must be achieved by that time."
Even though Massachusetts does not track the exact grade levels in which school districts decide to teach certain sex education lessons, Guarino of the Massachusetts Department of Education echoed Fehrnstrom's observation that most sex education comes much closer to the end of the pre-K through 5th grade range than to the beginning.
The Obama plan and the Massachusetts framework also share an "opt out" provision for parents.
Romney's Push for Abstinence
Rather than undoing the state's sex ed framework, Romney's focus as governor was on promoting abstinence education. He redirected federal funds which had previously been used on a media-only campaign into the classroom.
Romney's Democratic successor -- Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick -- has eliminated Romney's abstinence program and the Bay State is now one of 10 states which completely rejects federal funds for abstinence education.