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Bill prohibiting certain sex ed providers one step closer to passage

The bill would prevent sex education materials from being “Sexually explicit” and prohibit demonstration of contraception use.

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A Senate committee voted along party lines Wednesday to advance HB195 by Rep, Susan DuBose, R-Hoover, that would prohibit certain “comprehensive” sex ed courses from being taught in classrooms.

The bill would also ensure parents can opt their children out of sex education and review sex education materials.

State law already requires an emphasis on abstinence education. The bill would move the state away from “comprehensive sex ed” to “sexual risk avoidance” programs, a rebrand of abstinence-only sex education,

Some lawmakers have previously complained about materials included in the current predominant sex education provider, Alabama Campaign for Adolescent Sexual Health.

Trussville City Schools Superintendent Patrick Martin complained to far-right media that the organization had misrepresented its materials and included materials on gender identity among its resources for students at a school fair.

The bill prohibits school boards from “using the services of any individual or organization to assist in teaching about sex education or the human reproductive system if that individual or organization does not endorse sexual risk avoidance as the primary means of sex education, or if the individual or organization performs abortions, provides referrals to abortion services, or provides funding, advocacy, or other support for abortion.”

That would ensure ACASH and Planned Parenthood cannot provide sexual education in Alabama schools.

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The bill does allow for discussion of contraception, but outright bans information that “demonstrates the use of contraceptive materials.”

It also prevents images, materials or video footage that is “sexually explicit.” That term is not defined in the law.

The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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