This morning’s roundup is about state legislation and some
of the bills currently being discussed around the country. Let’s start with
some good news.
In Wisconsin, state legislators have just passed a bill
requiring the schools that provide sex education to include
information about birth control.
All public schools that teach sex
education would be required to instruct students about birth control and
sexually transmitted diseases, under a bill headed to Gov. Jim Doyle.
The Democratic governor said
Thursday he would sign the bill, which all Republicans opposed.
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It’s unclear how many school
districts would have to change their curriculum, but the West Allis-West
Milwaukee School District would have to end an abstinence-only program it
The bill was passed because of the Democratic
majority in both Houses.
education courses would have to include information about how to use condoms
and other forms of birth control and describe their benefits and side effects.
They would also have to tell students how to prevent sexually transmitted
could remove their children from sex ed classes, as they can now.
could decide not to have a sex education program, but they would have to tell
Meanwhile, over in Utah, state legislators are still
debating whether to change state law that prohibits schools from
the "advocacy or
encouragement" of birth control. Because the line of what constitutes "advocacy
or encouragement" is rather fuzzy the law has effectively kept most talk of contraceptives
out of the classroom. A bipartisan group is working to craft a bill.
[Sen. Stephen Urquhart,
R-St. George]’s bill, still in draft form, would remove that prohibition and
instead require teachers to talk about the limitations and benefits of
contraceptives and the importance of parental guidance in such matters.
It would also require the State Board of
Education to select instructional materials about contraception for districts
to use. Parents would still be allowed to opt their children out of the lesson.
Urquhart said he would also likely allow districts to opt out if they don’t
want to teach about contraception.
The bill would still prohibit advocacy of
homosexuality, advocacy of sexual activity outside marriage, instruction in the
intricacies of intercourse and explicit demonstrations of contraceptive
poll conducted by the Salt
Lake Tribune found people nearly even divided against the idea posed by the
bill, although how questions are posed can have a big effect on the outcome.
Melissa Bird, executive
director of the Planned Parenthood Action Council (PPAC), however, said the
results of the poll are surprising. PPAC, which worked with Urquhart and the
state PTA to create the bill, conducted its own poll through Dan Jones and
Associates in September. In that poll, PPAC asked respondents if they agreed or
disagreed that "comprehensive sex education will likely reduce the number
of unintended teen pregnancies." Sixty-seven percent of those polled in
the PPAC survey agreed.
Utah is also considering passing legislation that
criminalizes actions to terminate
a pregnancy, other than through a legally-obtained abortion.
A Utah House committee
has approved a bill that would let charges be filed against a woman who tries to
arrange an illegal abortion.
The bill sponsored by
Republican Rep. Carl Wimmer was prompted by a case in which a pregnant
17-year-old girl allegedly paid a man to beat her in an attempt to induce a
miscarriage. A charge filed against the girl was dismissed. The state has
appealed. The baby survived and has been adopted.
Finally let’s end on some good news, Washington State is debating
a proposal that targets crisis
bill defines limited service pregnancy centers as organizations that do not
provide prenatal care, comprehensive birth control services, abortions or
referrals for abortions.
SB 6452 would require centers to:
- Provide reproductive
health information that is "medically and scientifically accurate."
- Communicate immediately
that they do not provide medical care for pregnant women, abortion or
comprehensive birth control services or referrals for such services.
- Allow clients to
self-administer pregnancy tests and provide test results in writing to clients
as soon as they are known.
- Keep all health
information private, unless otherwise authorized, and make a client’s records
available to her promptly, but no later than 15 working days after receiving a
bill is currently in committee and must be approved by February 4 or will
January 29, 2010
House bill could harm pregnant
women Columbia Basin Herald
Pregnancy center assists with
maternal needs Martinsburg Journal
Tebow deserves applause for pro-life stance Chicago
Some think Scott Brown is pro-life and Catholic, but he is neither U.S. Catholic
January 28, 2010
Utahns divided on teaching contraception Salt Lake
Contraception Hurts Marriages, US Bishops Say Catholic
How we lost control of sex
education Catholic Herald Online
Teodoro tries balancing act on birth control Manila
Senate passes bill to bar
abstinence-only sex ed programs Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Can Men Be Trusted to Take Male
Contraceptive Pill? Science Daily
New ‘morning after’ pill praised The Press
Five-day limit for post-sex pill BBC News
New adoption laws to come into effect Sydney Morning
Interview: UNICEF urges caution on
Haitian adoptions Global Times
Child Adoption and Graft Top US-Russian Talks The Moscow
The President Who Knew He Was Right American
Nelson Planned to Insist on Tighter Abortion Restrictions New York Times
Legislation strikes a cord in the abortion debate Seattle Times
Catholic bishops: Don’t abandon
health care Baltimore Sun
Killer of Kansas abortion doctor eager to testify, friend says Los Angeles
Top Legal Scholar Warns Abortion Issue Can Divide a Nation Catholic
Family and Human Rights Institute
Jury to hear closings in slain abortion doc case Washington
My pro-life story Southeast
Father knows best, or perhaps he is
mistaken Sydney Morning Herald
Maureen Reed: ‘Roe v. Wade is law
of the land’ Minnesota Independent