Hidden in the bustle of Super Tuesday, the Oklahoma House passed a controversial bill. It's called The Humanity of The Unborn act and it requires schools to promote and teach anti-abortion viewpoints to students.
According to the bill, also titled HB2797, it was written to achieve an "abortion free society" by requiring teachers to tell students that "abortion kills a living human being".
The bill creates a fund to make or buy anti-abortion materials. It also allows the state to pay anti-abortion groups to provide information to students or even make visits to classrooms. It bars money from the newly established fund for pro-abortion materials or advocacy. According to The Department of Education, the total cost would be 4.7 million dollars.
Representative Ann Coody (R-Lawton) authored the bill. She was unable to speak with News 9 directly but said in a statement on Wednesday the bill was backed up by a U.S. Supreme Court Decision “that allowed the state to make a value judgment favoring child birth over abortion. That decision was from Maher v. Roe (1977)”.
But those on the other side see it differently. Some even called the legislation dangerous for education.
“Our students are political pawns, right?” Karo Chowning Oklahoma Coalition of Reproductive Justice said. The group is a pro-choice state organization. “This is a politically motivated law.”
Representative Jason Dunnignton (D-Oklahoma City) and Emily Virgin (D-Norman) opposed the bill and tried to amend it to include sex education funding and contraceptives in schools. Both were tabled before the final vote.
“When the legislature tries to pick and choose political issues that they want taught in the classroom I think it takes away from education as a whole,” Dunnington said.