Arizona School Board Votes to Remove Abortion from Textbooks
November 25, 2014
Two years ago, Arizona passed a law that requires schools to present childbirth and adoption as preferred options to abortion. And just a few weeks ago, a suburban Phoenix school board voted to change a chapter in an honors biology textbook that includes a page that mentions drugs that can induce abortion as well as different methods of birth control. The Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board decided 3 to 2 to change the chapter. The idea is that the chapter does not meet the state law requirements, which call for promoting adoption and raising a child when students learn about teen pregnancy. Therefore, according to board members, the biology book’s mention of abortion breaks the law because it does not promote childbirth and adoption.
Not everyone agrees with the outgoing board members—all three who voted in favor of the measure were voted out on Election Day. The local American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also wrote to the board, arguing that changing the book violates students’ right to receive information. Last week, the school board was prepared to present a plan for removing the page that mentions abortion from biology textbooks. But plans to remove the page were stopped because board members say they need more clarification. The new majority on the school board will likely favor leaving the page in instead of having it torn out of the textbooks.
I totally agree with the ACLU of Arizona and believe this law is ridiculous. To stop students from learning about a viable, legal option just because of personal belief is absolutely ludicrous. The point of school is to give students the skills and information they will need for life. Just because students learn about abortion doesn’t mean they are going to go out and get one. On the contrary, learning about it in in sex ed made me think it seems like one of the hardest decisions to make for some people. It is necessary to inform students about abortion—to give them a comprehensive sexuality and biological education. Hopefully, the new board agrees and keeps the textbooks intact.