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HomeHealth NewsRed states to teach 9-year-olds anti-abortion

Red states to teach 9-year-olds anti-abortion

  • Controversial Anti-Abortion Video Debated
  • Misleading fetal development claims
  • Law mandates from third grade

As part of their sexual education curriculum, millions of children, including some as young as nine years old, might be required to watch a pro-life video depicting an unborn child.

A three-minute video showing the weekly progression of foetal development was produced by anti-abortion activists.

In four states governed by Republicans, legislators are considering legislation that would require schools to screen the short film ‘Baby Olivia’ to their students.

The video, according to physicians, suggests that developmental milestones are reached two weeks before they actually occur. They have deemed it “inaccurate.”

Moreover, it propagates dubious claims regarding the “play” and “exploration” of unborn children, both of which lack empirical support in scientific research.

Four states—Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, and West Virginia—are considering the action; all have abortion ban legislation in effect, except for Iowa, where it is currently suspended.

They follow the legislative approach taken by North Dakota, which mandated the display of a video depicting foetal development in classrooms the previous year.

Controversial Fetal Development Video

The video, produced by the advocacy organisation Live Action, claims its objective is to “influence public sentiment” regarding abortion. It starts with an animated sequence showing sperm fertilising an embryo while swimming through the female reproductive tract.

Following this, an image depicts the fertilised egg implanting in the uterus and its subsequent development into a foetus.

According to the video, foetal cardiac activity begins at three weeks, and brain activity can be detected as early as six weeks.

As early as 11 weeks gestation, the foetus begins physical activity within the uterus.

A fully-grown infant with full hair is photographed around the end of the ninth month.

The video has already prompted objections from physicians affiliated with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who have accused its creators of “manipulating the emotions of viewers.”

According to them, the clip prematurely determines the age of a foetus by two weeks, as it uses the day the egg was fertilised instead of the conventional medical indicator of the number of days since a woman’s last period.

In addition, they refuted claims that a ‘foetal heartbeat’ occurs at three weeks of age. They argued that the heart does not begin to develop and pulsate until six weeks of age.

Physicians expressed concerns about the attribution of emotions such as “playing,” “exploring,” and “making speech movements” to a foetus, arguing that scientific studies have not yet substantiated such claims.

Approximately 2.3 million school-aged children across the four states are deliberating the measure.

State Laws on Fetal Development Education

The Missouri state legislature’s bill would require pupils to watch the movie by third grade or nine.

It would take effect in Iowa beginning in the seventh grade, or when students are 13 to 14 years old. In contrast, West Virginia would implement in eighth or tenth grade, or 13–16 years old.

Kentucky politicians want 11-year-olds to watch “Baby Olivia” from sixth grade.

Before becoming law, each bill must be approved by committees and ballots in the houses and senates of each state, in addition to receiving the signatures of the governors.

They became law in North Dakota within a year, but it is unknown how long it would take.

The clip would, according to Live Action, educate inquisitive children about their origins and foster an “appreciation” for human life.

Iowa GOP senator Luana Stoltenberg said the Olivia video “impressed” her.

She asked, “What is the worst that could possibly happen?”

“Perhaps when a young child realises how they themselves developed and grew, they will reconsider having an abortion if they become pregnant.”

“Is that something horrifying?”

Patricia Rucker, a West Virginia Republican senator, further stated that the video did not contain any pro-life advocacy or partisanship. It also did not express significant support for the cause.

She contended that it exemplified the “beautiful, miraculous nature” of human existence. It was comparable to observing the development of a chick within an egg.

Late last year, North Dakota enacted legislation mandating that health and human sexuality courses incorporate a computer-generated rendering of foetal development and a three-minute ultrasound video.

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The state Department of Health recommends showing the movie, even though it’s not required.

Twelve of North Dakota’s largest school districts were contacted by the Associated Press to confirm their video use. Five responded affirmatively.

It informed reporters that the largest district, Bismarck, with approximately 13,800 pupils, does not utilise the video.

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