Proposed sex ed bill would emphasize abstinence, bar discussion of contraception

Sex ed bill prohibits teaching on contraception, ‘erotic behavior’

Alaska State Legislature Rep. George Rauscher, R-Sutton. (Photo from AK Legislature)

Alaska State Legislature Rep. George Rauscher, R-Sutton. (Photo from AK Legislature)

A bill filed in the Alaska State Legislature by Rep. George Rauscher, R-Sutton, aims to regulate sex and human reproductive education in schools across the state.

House Bill 7 would encourage teaching abstinence to students and prohibit instruction about “erotic behavior” like homosexuality, gender identity, the use of contraception and sex before marriage. The legislation would also require Alaska instructors to teach that life begins at conception.

In his bill, Rauscher said people who stay abstinent prevent the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity.

“… [A]bstinence from sexual activity (is) the preferred choice for unmarried students because it is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases,” the bill said.

The bill states that sexual activity out of wedlock is likely to have harmful psychological or physical effects, and that there may be social, or health benefits to abstaining from sexual activity.

Rauscher also asserts in the bill that adolescent sexual activity increases the likelihood that a student will drop out of school because of sexually transmitted disease or unplanned pregnancy. The legislation would prevent instructors from teaching students about contraceptive methods and devices that may prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies.

The bill also emphasizes the idea that bearing a child out of wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child’s parents and society.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District uses several lesson plans and materials that teach both abstinence, contraceptive use and consent. Curriculum materials come from several resources, including the Homer Peer Education Team at Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic and Planned Parenthood.

At the Education Board’s Aug. 6 work session, the board reviewed resources and materials used by district health educators.The school board approves all the materials used in the district, which are all research-based and meet state requirements.

Rauscher, who has been serving as a state representative since 2017, has introduced several bills this session, including one prohibiting state-funded gender reclassification medical procedures and an act relocating the state Legislature to Anchorage.

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