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HB 78 was introduced by Representative Mary González (D-El Paso) to expand human sexuality curriculum, or “sex ed.” Self-identifying as a “pansexual” and serving as a board member of Texas’ statewide Queer People of Color organization, Representative González engenders a panoramic view of human sexuality that has been previously absent in this debate.
When legislators adopt policies regarding human sexuality education, the progressives artfully sidestep whether the topic of human sexuality even belongs in the purview of public education in the first place. Legislators who advocate for increased sex ed programs think that tax-funded sex ed should be a core component of any curriculum, and they further assume parental consent to such instruction, since the parent has placed the child in public school. However, what many parents and some legislators don’t know is that their children – as young as kindergarten – may be exposed to information that would make a seasoned sailor blush.
Texas law requires that human sexuality courses “present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age; devote sufficient attention to abstinence from sexual activity to emphasize the importance of abstinence; and emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity, if used consistently and correctly, is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.” Kudos to Texas…except that many of the providers of sex ed have ties to abortion clinics; their financial best interest is to downplay, mock, or even deny the effectiveness of abstinence.
Texas Right to Life’s main objective in policies and legislation dealing with sex ed is disqualifying abortion clinics and their affiliates as the providers. The glaring questions about sex ed and the logistics include, but are not limited to:
~What is the role of the parent(s) consenting to the child’s attendance in sex ed classes?
~Should the curriculum be provided to the parent(s) for approval of the child’s participation?
~Should the parent(s) be able to opt the child in or only be able to opt-out?
~What if the paperwork to the parent(s) isn’t returned to the school? Does the student attend or skip the classes?
~What agencies can be trusted to write curriculum? Who determines what content is appropriate?
~What is the cost to taxpayers, the school districts, the state—and for what exactly?
~Who trains the sex ed teachers?
~How does the Legislature and the State Board of Education determine that state policy is enforced and monitored?
And probably the two questions that no one dares ask:
~What are the measurable goals of state-funded sex ed?
~Does sex ed reduce or actually increase teen pregnancy, sexual diseases, births, and abortions?
While the Texas Legislature usually focuses their sex ed debate on these questions, Texas Right to Life’s overall legislative goals have always been to eliminate taxpayer funding of the abortion industry and affiliates, and our successful, cornerstone defunding plan in 2011 to the state’s budget marked an historic first step. Since then, additional revenue streams to Planned Parenthood and similar agents of Big Abortion have come to light, including the sex ed contracts in some local public school districts. An industry that profits from the sale of abortion to vulnerable pregnant women has no place marketing their wares to school-aged children or teens, and many parents agree.
Regardless of how the other myriad issues are resolved in the sex ed debate, the first step in any policy regarding human sexuality education is to disqualify agencies and entities that provide or refer for abortion or that contract or affiliate with such agencies and entities. An organization that makes money off unplanned pregnancy and promiscuity should not be involved in any way with training the youth in what could be argued as a cunning effort to create new customers for their big ticket birth control and abortion business.