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Bill to require video or digital depictions of fetal development in the womb to be shown in school health classes

The Senate has passed a measure to mandate that schools, in their health classes, should show videos or digital representations of fetal development in the womb.

Sen. Mike Wobbema (R-Valley City) told the Senate these kind of materials are available free of charge, so this shouldn’t add any costs to local districts.

"Adding a digital presentation of an ultrasound, showing a developing and moving image of a human being in the womb, will enhance classroom discussion about human life," Wobbema said. "With the number of bills this body has heard, and anticipates hearing, on life, protection of our children and improvements to our education system, it seems only prudent that we do all we can to equip those children with the best information and tools available to tackle what life brings to them."

Sen. Michelle Axtman (R-Bismarck) told the Senate she doesn’t have any objection to those materials themselves.

"We talk a lot this session abut slippery slopes," Axtman said. "But this would be a first, where we dictate, within content standards and curriculum, a specific way for our local schools to teach. So we take it out of the hands of local school boards."

Axtman said within the health curriculum, teachers do have to talk about the subject.

"However, we are taking this one step further, and dictating exactly how they talk about that subject," Axtman said.

The measure – HB 1265 – passed 37 to 9. It now goes back to the House, to see if it concurs with Senate changes.

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