Lawmakers' Plan A: No instruction on Plan B

Posted April 6, 2015

— A bill filed last week would ban North Carolina schools from teaching students about the morning-after birth control pill.

House Bill 596 also would allow school districts to design their own sex education curriculum without any review by experts in the field.

Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill, is a widely available form of emergency contraception. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration two years ago made it available over the counter without a prescription.

Rep. Chris Whitmire, R-Transylvania, a primary sponsor of the bill, called Plan B a "life-ending drug" that can cause spontaneous abortion, and he said Monday that he doesn't want North Carolina students to know anything about it.

Current state law allows instruction of any FDA-approved contraceptive in sex education classes.

Melissa Reed, Planned Parenthood vice president for public affairs, said Plan B works to prevent fertilization and has no effect if a woman is already pregnant.

"Anti-choice groups around the country, they continue to argue that (Plan B causes spontaneous abortions), but in fact it's not true," Reed said. "There's been paper after paper, a research study and the FDA that have all said it does not work to affect a current pregnancy."

She also expressed concern that the bill would no longer require experts in sexual education to approve school districts' courses.

"I think that there will be increasing pressure to move back to an abstinence-based curriculum," she said, noting that teen pregnancy rates have dropped every year since the state began requiring schools to teach about contraception as well as abstinence. "My hope is that, not only will public school teachers push back on that, but also parents will say, 'No, this is the type of information I want my student to have.'"

Whitmire said local districts should have the right to choose a "values-based curriculum," and his bill would give parents more input.


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  • Dan Kimrey Apr 8, 2015
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    Rep. Wit-less-mire,

    Go ahead. I will make it my personal mission to tell as many kids about Plan B as humanly possible. Simpleton!!

  • Naomi Lambert Apr 8, 2015
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    I am also concerned about placing the burden on local school boards/classroom teachers to convey this information. Outside a bio class most teachers do not want this responsibility given the moral issues involved. We need independent experts who can provide science based instruction, without the value judgments which seem to cloud the minds of NC legislators. This is our kids' lives we're talking about!

  • Paul Maxwell Apr 7, 2015
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    Whitmire is absolutely wrong about Plan B. It does not, can not, WILL NOT cause spontaneous abortion if the female is already pregnant. It merely prevents pregnancy from happening. Just as a birth control pill, or an IUD, a condom or a spermicide can. The ignorance of science and a complete lack of common sense among some politicians is astounding.

  • Jeff Snavely Apr 7, 2015
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    Yea, trying to refute mythology with science isn't going to work. They seem to take pride in being wrong.

    Perhaps this is the rural conservative's plan to prop up their declining population.

  • Kristin Byrne Apr 7, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    I agree with you. I'd rather kids learn facts and science than be taught on the back of the bus. Kids are going to learn about sex from somewhere, whether parents or lawmakers like it or not.

  • Ginger Lynn Apr 7, 2015
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    I am not a big Pro-choice person, but this guy completely has his head in the sand. It is a safe, legal product and trying to pretend like it is not there just makes him look like a fool. I hope he doesn't have any children, particularly daughters.

  • Jack Jones Apr 7, 2015
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    Are Whitmire and McElraft proposing a "book burning" too, just to ensure women do not receive reproductive healthcare?

  • Jack Jones Apr 7, 2015
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    What about DATE RAPE, Rep Chris Whitmire? Or rape or incest? You want to ban knowledge from teens about emergency contraception. Have you even thought this through?

  • Mark Neill Apr 7, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Top 5 states in the country for teen pregnancy:

    * New Mexico: 80 per 1000
    * Mississippi: 76/1000
    * Texas: 73/1000
    * Arkansas: 73/1000
    * Louisiana: 69/1000

    Notice a recurring theme here?

    None of those 5 require by education classes to be medically accurate. Only NM doesn't /stress/ abstinence over everything else. 3 of the 5 don't teach about condoms. 2 of them don't teach about AIDS. None of them bar the promotion of religion in sex education.

    I'd bet half of the parents, and 90% of the kids, get embarrassed and leave the room if someone says "penis" or "vagina".

  • Mark Neill Apr 7, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    That's not fair, they teach all about Morality at home.

    They just don't teach about sex. Because Mary never had sex, and she gave birth to Jesus, so if girls would just not have sex, everything would be just fine.