Family Values Prevailed on Two Measures in Boise this Week

February 22
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Dear Friend,

You are making a difference! Your voice is being heard. Thank you! Two bills of great importance to all defenders of family values saw action in the Capitol this week. They are: S1243, Abortion Pill Reversal bill, and H579, a sex education bill.

Here is an update on both of these bills:

S1243 Abortion Pill Reversal bill

On Tues. Feb. 20th, the Idaho Senate voted 29-6 (party lines) in favor of S1243. You spoke up!  The Republican Senators listened!  This bill that affords women the respect of full information is now headed to the House of Representatives.  I will let you know soon how you can help the Idaho House vote yes on this important measure to ensure women in Idaho have access to all the information that will help them make informed decisions.

H579 Sex Education in Public Schools

This bill moved so fast that we did not even have time to notify you of its hearing. This was an opportunity for our alliance to exercise its strength to collaborate to defeat this bill.

With less than a day to prepare, our national allies Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Policy Alliance reviewed H579, provided talking points, comparison charts, and helpful legal analysis of the bill.  We were able to provide information to legislators and work with them to stop H579.

Here are the high points:

Background:

H579 was the well-intentioned result of a student’s community/global solutions project for a course at Boise State University. The student’s goal with this project was to reduce teen pregnancy and thereby help others avoid the hardships of being a teen parent. Her premise was that inadequate sex education was the major contributing factor to teen pregnancy.  That inadequacy would be remedied by changing/updating Idaho sex education code. The result of her project was H579.

She and her professor presented H579.  The National Organization of Women followed up with their support. However, there were serious flaws with underpinnings and results of the bill.

Family Policy Alliance Review:

Family Policy Alliance of Idaho testified against H579.

Here are the main reasons H579 is not a good solution to the problem of teen sexual behavior.

  • H579 removes language from Idaho’s code that puts the primary responsibility of family life and sex education on the family and the church, with the school system only supplementing this education.

H579 replaces these important standards with a legally meaningless reference to “the importance of families in all aspects of their children’s education…” Even worse, it actually undermines the recognition of parental rights contained in the current law.

H579 is breathtaking in its attack on the very structure that educators consider a most important variable to academic success…the family. It completely abandons the emphasis on the role of parents, the home, and the church in providing moral instruction on sex education.

Current code has it right by pointing to the importance of the school accompanying the parents and church, not the other way around.

  • The assumption that current code is to blame for lack of education which results in teen sexual activity is not based in fact or data. It is simply an assumption that neglects to consider other variables in a search for cause and effect.

Advocating state-wide policy with such broad implications for foundational parental rights, based on assumptions is dangerous and ill-advised.

Of course, the family has changed since the original code became law.  But the inherent value of family has not.

The Result:

H579 was sent to the amending order, which is often where a bill goes to die.  Advocates say they will rework/amend it and plan for it to resurface this year or next.

Thank You

It is only because of you that we are able to have eyes, ears, and feet at the Capitol to assess these policy issues and speak out in support of the family.

Please forward our weekly email to friends and family and consider sending a gift to help Family Policy Alliance of Idaho continue to stand in the gap for you.

Sincerely,

Julie Lynde