The Senate Education Committee this morning approved a bill to ban Planned Parenthood from providing sex education materials or instruction in public schools in a 6-2 vote, after little discussion.
Democratic Sens. Royce West and Leticia Van de Putte voted in opposition to Senate Bill 521 by Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney.
Public school districts that opt to provide sex education must make all course materials available for public review and allow parents to exempt children from any portion of the course without penalty.
Paxton’s bill, and an identical House measure by Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, would add two requirements:
Individuals could not provide sex education instruction if they belong to, or are affiliated with, an organization that performs abortions. Materials from abortion providers also could not be used in the classroom.
If materials or instruction is provided by somebody who is not a school district employee, parents must sign a waiver allowing their children to participate in the class.
Paxton’s bill drew passionate testimony during a public hearing last week, but the committee vote was delayed by a lack of a quorum.
Supporters of the bill accused Planned Parenthood of placing an improper emphasis on sexual freedom and abortion rights that is inappropriate for school-age children. Opponents accused Paxton of attempting to place unneeded restrictions on local instruction that would force some school districts to drop sex education despite high rates of teen pregnancy.