Rolled into a larger education bill dealing with local control of state education funds, the Alaska Legislature has sent legislation to Gov. Bill Walker to sign that requires sex education teachers as well as their curriculum and classroom materials to first be approved by local school boards before such classes can begin.
House Bill 156 states that before using sex education curriculum it must be available for review by parents, and the sex education teacher’s credentials must be presented to parents.
With the bill now awaiting Gov. Bill Walker’s signature, Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates are pressuring the governor to veto the legislation, claiming it would limit student access to sex education.
“It’s what we’ve been waiting for – HB 156 has now landed on Governor Walker’s desk,” said Jessica Cler, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman in Alaska. “Activists like you have been fighting tooth and nail the last two legislative sessions to stop harmful and dangerous restrictions on sex education, and now it’s down to the wire.”
Pro-life groups, meanwhile, are urging the governor to pass the bill as a common sense way to ensure that pro-abortion groups don’t sneak their agenda into classrooms without the knowledge of parents and local school boards.
While the main body of the bill deals with local control over education funding, Senator Mike Dunleavy introduced language dealing with sex education. This came after Dunleavy’s Senate Bill 89 was held without a vote in the House Health and Social Services Committee. SB 89 contained similar language but also banned abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, from contracting with public schools to teach in Alaska’s schools.
In an email to supporters of the bill, Dunleavy noted that Governor Walker has until July 28 to sign it, veto it, or do nothing and let it become law.
“Planned Parenthood immediately began its high-pressure campaign to convince the governor to veto HB 156,” Dunleavy observed.”If he does, this would be a tragedy for Alaska’s parents, children, school districts, and for state’s rights.”
Alaska Right to Life sees the bill as a way to “slow Planned Parenthood down from marketing their ‘services’ to Alaska’s children and, more importantly, will force school board members to go on record if they support Planned Parenthood.”
“We strongly urge everyone who believes that Alaska’s children should be protected from Planned Parenthood’s marketing machine to call Governor Walker and respectfully ask him not to veto the bill,” said Alaska Right to Life Executive Director Christopher Kurka in a letter to supporters.
“Planned Parenthood’s fight over this section should make one wonder as to why they oppose the bill,” Kurka added, suggesting that leadership in the abortion rights organization “do not want their approaches and materials to be vetted by a public school board. What could they possibly want to hide from the public? ”
Dunleavy urged supporters of the bill to contact Gov. Walker and his staff to “respectfully ask him not to veto the bill and to please allow it to become law.”
Contacts for Gov. Walker’s staff:
- Mat-Su: (907) 761-5690
- Anchorage: (907) 269-7450
- Fairbanks: (907) 451-2920
- Juneau: (907) 465-3500