JUNEAU, Alaska – The Alaska Senate officially approved legislation today to ban abortion service providers from teaching sex education in schools, and the measure now moves to the state House.
Sen. Mike Dunleavyintroduced Senate Bill 89 to make it a requirement for schools to obtain parents’ permission to educate their children about sex, and give parents the explicit authority to opt their children out of sex ed lessons, standardized testing or other programs,KDLG reports.
Language in the bill also prevents public schools from using educational materials or support from abortion service providers like Planned Parenthood, which instructs over 2,000 students in Alaska each year, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii spokesman Erik Houser told the Associated Press.
The bill passed the Senate on Friday in an 11-7 vote, which was reaffirmed in a 12-7 vote Monday, according to the AP.
“Let’s be straight, the abortion providers are a business. They’re in our schools to recruit our kids as agents of their business and they’re in our schools to recruit kids for potential clients later on down the road,” Dunleavy said.
The senator likened the issue to allowing the National Rifle Association to spread its agenda in schools.
Former abortion clinic manager turned pro-life advocate Carol Everett detailed for EAGnews in 2014 exactly how abortion providers conspire to indoctrinate students and recruit clients, and her claims confirm Dunleavy’s comments.
A second Dunleavy bill, SB 191, would impose penalties including possible license revocation for teachers who use sex education materials provided by an abortion provider. That bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee today, RHRealityCheck.org reports.
Alaska state Sen. Cathy Giessel, a SB 89 co-sponsor, said special interests have no place in the state’s schools.
“To have special interests coming into the schools, many parents believe is inappropriate,” she told KDLG. “If they wanted their children to receive materials and philosophy from Planned Parenthood, any parent could certainly take their child to a Planned Parenthood clinic, but it doesn’t belong in an institution where we’re providing a broad education for all of Alaska’s children.”
Sen. Bertha Gardner cited the state’s high STD, child sex abuse and teen pregnancy rates as reasons SB 89 is a “bad bill,” according to the news site.
“Many of us as parents want our children to be informed. We want them to know the scientific facts about disease, about reproduction …,” she said. “We want children to know facts about dating violence and risks and what are healthy relationships and what are the signs that a relationship is not healthy. That’s what we want for all children, I think.”
Gardner also attempted to appeal to the Republican majority’s penchant towards local control and fiscal restraint.
“I believe it’s state overreach, it impairs local control, and it puts an unfunded mandate on school district,” he said, “and we’ve fought against these in other areas, too.”
Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, seems to be hinting at a potential legal challenge.
“SB 89 and its even-more-extreme companion legislation SB 191 are unconstitutional restrictions on the education available to communities across the state, and today’s vote didn’t change that,” the group’s public affairs manager, Jessica Cler, said in a Friday statement.
She called the bill’s passage “awful news for sexual health education in Alaska” and resorted to personal attacks against Dunleavy.
“Senator Mike Dunleavy is an increasingly desperate demagogue who clearly doesn’t care whether his ideas are based in science, medicine, or even the law,” Cler said.
A Feb. 16 legal analysis by the Alaska Legislative Affairs Agency detailed potential issues with the constitutionality of SB 89, though Dunleavy told the AP he believes the law would stand up in court.