North Carolina is considering a new bill that would require teachers to tell young school children that abortion causes preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies. The proposed legislation, SB 132, would mandate that anti-abortion propaganda be implemented in elementary and middle school public health curriculum.
According to the bill, in order to facilitate implementation of the act, the Department of Public Health & Human Services will need to provide “sample educational materials with the most current information available about the preventable causes of preterm birth, including induced abortion as a cause of preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies.”
The “most current information available” refers to a study that first appeared in the journal Human Reproduction last year. The study sought to determine whether the perinatal health of a woman’s first-born is affected by previous induced abortions. The lead author of the study, Reija Klemetti, stated that “The risk is low, and abortion is a safe surgical procedure.”
The study found that having two or more abortions does increase the risk of preterm birth, or birth at 37 weeks or fewer, but the researchers also cautioned “that unknown variables could have influenced their findings, and that their observational study does not establish cause and effect.” Regardless, the bill would ultimately allow for the political indoctrination of young children, in the school environment, and the classroom to be be an outlet for politicians to spread anti-choice propaganda.
Suzanne Buckley, the Executive Director for NARAL Pro-Choice NC, commented on the bill after its introduction on Monday night: “This bill calls for changes to our school’s health curriculum that have nothing to do with protecting our children’s health, and everything to do with spreading misinformation and stigmatizing abortion.”
Alisha Mims is a writer and researcher for Ring of Fire.