Illinois legislators will soon consider a proposal to mandate sex education for public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade. But many Christians worry the legislation further mainstreams LGBTQ lifestyles and introduces support for abortion in the minds of children as early as third grade.
The Illinois Responsible Education for Adolescent and Children’s Health (REACH) Act (HB 1736 and SB 0647), is touted by its supporters, including Planned Parenthood, as a bill that would “require age-appropriate, comprehensive, and inclusive personal health and safety education to be taught in public schools, grades K-12.”
Beginning in kindergarten, lessons would focus on personal safety, respecting others, and identifying trustworthy adults. In grades 3-5, students would study anatomy, sexual orientation, gender identity, local resources related to reproductive health, and gender expression. In grades 6-12, the curriculum includes abstinence, abortion, birth control, and how to prevent getting STDs.
In a recent webinar on the REACH Act hosted by Illinois Right to Life Action, Ralph Rivera, the organization’s legislative chairman, said, “The way they’ve framed the material that has to be taught, really Planned Parenthood and their kind can be the only ones that can come in and teach it along with the teachers that are asked to teach this. They will now have complete access to our public school children to indoctrinate them and to give them information [about abortions].”
Although the curriculum would be mandated in all public schools and determined by the Illinois State Board of Education, private schools and homeschoolers would remain exempt.
The bill passed through committee March 17 and is expected to soon go to the State House floor for its first reading.
Repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act introduced
Lawmakers recently introduced the Repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act (HB 1797 and SB 2190) which would eliminate the state law requiring young women under the age of 18 seeking an abortion to notify a parent, legal guardian, or grandparent at least 48 hours prior to it taking place. Currently, if for some reason the minor is unable to go to a family member, a judge may give permission through a judicial bypass. The bill has the support of the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.
Opponents of the bill have expressed concern a repeal would offer protection to child molesters, rapists, and human traffickers in Illinois and surrounding states.