Leading Civil Rights and Reproductive Health Organizations Opposition to ND SB 2030 Amendment
April 14, 2021
Sex Education Research and
Programming Could Be Outlawed in North Dakota
To the North Dakota Legislative Assembly:
On February 18th, the North Dakota State Legislature adopted an amendment to Senate Bill 2030 that, if successful, will severely threaten the integrity of future sex education research and halt the provision of programatic efforts designed to provide young people, parents, and educators with comprehensive training and education related to reproductive and sexual health provision. SIECUS: Sex Education for Social Change and our fellow North Dakota civil rights and reproductive health colleagues stand in opposition to this dangerous amendment.
Serving as one of the national voices for sex education for over 55 years, SIECUS asserts that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. Over three decades of research have shown that sex education is the most effective in reducing health disparities such as unplanned pregnancy and improves the social and emotional well-being of young people. If enacted, Senate Bill 2030 would eliminate evidence-based sex education and research provided through the North Dakota university system.
North Dakota Senate Bill 2030 was introduced with a goal of increasing appropriations for higher education institutions through funding the State Board of Higher Education (SBHS) for the higher education challenge matching grant program to support student scholarships. The bill has since been hijacked by Senator Janne Mydral to further an anti-abortion and anti-sex education agenda by eliminating funding eligibility for universities that sponsor, partner with, apply for grants with, or provide a grant sub-award to any person or organization that performs or promotes abortion. This amendment further prohibits any organization receiving this grant funding from participating or sponsoring any program producing, distributing, publishing, disseminating, endorsing, or approving materials of any type or from any organization that does not favor “normal childbirth” over abortion.
To effectively improve health outcomes for all young people in North Dakota, it is critical that sex education programming and research is based upon evidence and medically accurate information that is free from political interference.. If enacted as is, Senate Bill 2030 will drastically inhibit the ability of institutional research in North Dakota to contribute to the growing body of research documenting the benefits of sex education and developing comprehensive programming.
SIECUS, and the undersigned organizations, strongly oppose efforts to enact this legislation as it currently stands. North Dakota legislators must take swift action to reverse the efforts of Senator Mydral to infringe upon the ability of the North Dakota University System to contribute to the field of sex education research and programming through this intrusive and unjust amendment. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Gabrielle Doyle, State Partnerships Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change
The North Dakota Human Rights Coalition
ACLU of North Dakota
Planned Parenthood North Central States
North Dakota Women’s Network