June 8, 2021

General Assembly Passes Pro-Abortion Sex Education Bill

On Friday, May 28, Illinois lawmakers passed legislation mandating comprehensive sex education aligning with "National Sex Education Standards." That legislation has been sent to Gov. Pritzker's desk for signature.

SB 818 passed the House by a vote of 60-48, and it passed the Senate by a vote of 37-18. The bill mandates that schools teach "comprehensive personal health and safety education" in grades K-5 and "comprehensive sexual health education" in grades 6-12. That description misrepresents the scope of what this legislation can do to public school sex education, however.

SB 818 requires the new curriculum to align with the National Sex Education Standards set forth by the Future of Sex Education (FoSE) and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).

The National Sex Education Standards require 2nd graders to list "medically accurate names for body parts, including the genitals." The standards describe abortion as a "pregnancy option," and tells students that "sexual intercourse may mean different things to different people, but could include behaviors such as vaginal sex, oral sex, or anal sex."

Jennifer Welch, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, issued a press release praising pro-abortion legislators for passing this legislation.

“Because of their hard work and dedication, public and charter schools will have clear guidelines and standards for providing medically accurate and age-appropriate personal health and safety education in grades K through five and comprehensive sexual health education in grades six through 12,” Welch said.

Opponents to the bill argue that age-inappropriate information will be taught to children, and that the curriculum will paint abortion and pre-marital sex in a favorable light.

The Illinois Family Institute harshly criticized the bill on its website, writing that the National Sex Education Standards "indoctrinate children with leftist sexuality dogma."

The bill does allow parents, guardians, or entire school districts to opt their children out of the state's sex education curriculum. If a school district does this, however, they would not be allowed to teach anything about personal health and sexuality at all.