A Minnesota lawmaker says "students are demanding" a proposed statewide comprehensive sex education program that would include instruction on "diverse sexual orientations and gender identities."
Democratic State Rep. Sydney Jordan of Minneapolis introduced a bill on Friday that would create one or more model programs for sexual health education for elementary and secondary schools in Minnesota.
"Students are demanding access to information about their bodies, consent, and contraception and it’s time the [Minnesota Legislature] listens," she tweeted after filing the legislation.
The bill, HF 174, requires the Minnesota Department of Education to develop a "comprehensive" sex education program that is "medically accurate; age, disability, and developmentally appropriate; culturally inclusive; and grounded in science."
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The model programs must include written materials, curriculum resources, and training for instructors on human anatomy, reproduction, and sexual development, as well as "consent, bodily autonomy, and healthy relationships, including relationships involving diverse sexual orientations and gender identities."
They would also be required to include instruction on abstinence, contraception, sexually transmitted disease and notification about the illegality of teacher-student sexual relationships.
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Jordan's bill appears to be a new version of a bill she introduced in 2021 that was widely supported by Democrats in the state legislature. It stands a much better chance of passing after Democrats won control of the Minnesota State House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections.
Conservatives previously opposed the legislation, arguing it would permit activists and Planned Parenthood employees to teach in schools. They pointed to text that allows "a person without a teaching license" to provide comprehensive sex education in schools, including people from a "community organization." Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest provider of sex education, reaching 1.2 million people annually through its outreach programs.
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An executive director for Planned Parenthood's sex education arm claimed in 2015 that children are "sexual beings." Fox News Digital previously reported that Planned Parenthood said in a guide entitled the "Fundamentals of Teaching Sexuality" that "sexuality is a part of life through all the ages and stages. Babies, elders, and everyone in between can experience sexuality."
The Minnesota Family Council called Jordan's bill "dangerous" in 2021.
"Comprehensive sex education includes explicit sexual content for early elementary children, which is strongly opposed by most parents," CEO John Helmberger said, according to Alpha News.
The conservative group said studies have shown that comprehensive sex education does not "delay sexual activity, reduce teen pregnancy or the number of sexual partners," or lead to fewer rates of sexually-transmitted diseases. These results were found when compared to sexual education based on "risk avoidance" or abstinence, the group said.
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Jordan's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.