What in the world is a "gender snowperson?" Ask your fourth grader. In Massachusetts, that's how schools are teaching nine-year-olds to "never assume boys have penises." Welcome to sex education, Planned Parenthood-style. And, if the state's extremists get their way, Frosty's friend is just the beginning.
"Is it age-appropriate to introduce twelve-year old children to anal sex?" the New Boston Post asks. "Is it medically accurate to encourage students to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by using Saran Wrap as a prophylactic during oral sex?" The state department of education thinks so. And so do its pals at Planned Parenthood.
Thanks to our friends at the Massachusetts Family Institute, parents are getting quite a sneak peak of the "pornographic content" their kids are about to learn if the Healthy Youth Act passes the state house. Until now, sex education has been optional for local districts. That will all change if HB 410 and SB263 make their way to the governor's desk. From normalizing abortion and gender confusion to jaw-dropping descriptions of various acts, Planned Parenthood's "Get Real" curriculum is so controversial that parents are furious it's even being considered. When they found out that the country's largest abortion provider might be put in charge of their kids' sex education, they pitched a fit. And if it's anything like the uproar in other communities, the Massachusetts legislature is about to have a bigger debate than it bargained for.
And now that the legislative calendar is heating up again, they aren't the only ones. States across the country are kicking off their sessions with a jam-packed slate of proposals -- good and bad. Monday, on "Washington Watch," FRC's Quena Gonzalez, director of state and local affairs, joined me to highlight some of the big-ticket items that conservatives need to be monitoring in their own backyards. With most state legislatures just meeting from January to April, there's a small window where you can have a big impact.
Believe it or not, 80 to 85 percent of the legislation we track this year will be introduced in the next few weeks or months. "One thing we continue to tell people," Quena said, "is that they can do more in their states than they realize -- and certainly have more effect than they do federally as a grassroots activist." One of the examples of that is the huge wave of bills moving forward to protect the unborn if they survive a botched abortion. This is all in response, Quena explains, to what happened a year ago in New York with Governor Andrew Cuomo. "We're still trying to get a response at the federal level -- and [with the Democratic House], we can't get anything done. But there are many, many states moving forward addressing the issue... I'm very excited to say that both West Virginia and Ohio have very good born-alive bills that would bring them in line with seven other states that have top-of-the-line protections for the unborn."
In fact, FRC developed its own interactive pro-life map, so that people can click on their state and see what kind of laws -- if any -- the unborn have. Hopefully, they'll help us contact their legislators and demand those protections in more than just Ohio and West Virginia. As Quena says, "We'd like to see that moving in a lot more states as an answer to the abortion radicalism that we saw last fall."
And if you're a state legislator -- or want to contact a state legislator -- FRC has copies of model legislation on a variety of issues, but two in particular that Quena emphasized. "One is on the issue of fetal dignity, or the dignity of the unborn. After the David Daleiden videos broke about four years ago, we designed legislation that would prevent the double dipping that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are doing by not only charging for the abortion -- but then reselling the baby body parts on the market. And we have some excellent bills, a couple of them already moving in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. We think they should be moving in a lot more states. Virtually no state," Quena points out, "has full protections against that black market. And we'd like to see that change."
Another area of concern that FRC is trying to address are the minors who are being pressured to identify as transgender -- even being pressured into hormone treatment and premature surgical alterations that have profound effects on their emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing for the rest of their life. "Quite a number of states are taking up legislation this session to address this issue of providing transgender services to minors. And I'm proud to say that FRC's right at the forefront of that. We've developed model legislation that addresses virtually every aspect of that very complicated, very sensitive issue. We've worked with doctors and policy experts from across the country and are really proud of what we've come up with."
Let me emphasize that this isn't just conceptual legislation. It's legislation based on serious research. If you're interested in seeing these proposals and forwarding them on to your lawmakers, contact us. The best way you can start moving the needle on life, religious liberty, sex education, and other issues is by getting involved on the local level!