La. Senate Advances Bill Restricting Sex Education

May 28, 2014 — The Louisiana Senate in a 31-5 vote on Tuesday passed a bill (HB 305) that would prohibit people who work for abortion providers from distributing health education materials in schools, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (DeSlatte, AP/Sacramento Bee, 5/27).

Specifically, HB 305 would bar employees or representatives of abortion providers and their affiliates from instructing, speaking or distributing information pertaining to reproductive health or family planning at public or charter schools (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/11). The bill, which the state House already approved, now proceeds to Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who is expected to sign it.

Supporters of the measure argued that it would prevent people with a financial interest in promoting abortion from speaking in schools. State Sen. Ben Nevers (D) said, "I think this bill just makes sure our children are protected."

Meanwhile, opponents said it is an attack on Planned Parenthood and that no other groups are prevented under state law from speaking at public schools. The bill would prevent teaching of medically accurate sex education lessons, they argued. State Sen. Karen Carter (D) said, "Teens need to know how to make responsible decisions and stay healthy," adding, "What this bill is doing is taking one of the pre-eminent organizations in this country out of the classroom" (AP/Sacramento Bee, 5/27).