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Reproduction video requirement in Kentucky schools could get a House vote

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(The Center Square) – Allowing students to view a video produced by an anti-abortion group is expected to get a vote soon in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

The video shows human development from fertilization to birth. Proponents say it’s important for education; opponents say the film is inaccurate. The legislation will make showing the video a requirement of the schools.

House Bill 346, also known as the Baby Olivia Act, passed the House Health Services Committee and would require school districts to adopt a human growth and development curriculum beginning in the sixth grade.

The curriculum would have to include an age-appropriate, high-quality computer-generated rendering or animation showing the process of human cell fertilization and every stage of human development from pregnancy to birth.

“This act is important for children and, for that matter, adults to understand human development,” said Rep. Nancy Tate, R-Brandenburg.

The bill is named after the Baby Olivia video that shows life development from fertilization to birth.

Live Action, a Virginia-based anti-abortion nonprofit, produces the Baby Olivia video.

“When I watched it, it tugged at my heart,” said Rep. Ryan Dotson, R-Winchester. “It showed that there was not just a clump of cells inside of a woman – that it was a growing, living child. So, for that reason I support it fully.”

Rep. Lisa Willner, D-Louisville, said she is passionate about human growth and development as a former teacher but said the Baby Olivia video is not medically accurate.

“There’s so much information in there that is wrong,” Willner said. “I think we’re doing our kids real harm by promoting this particular (video) and calling this bill the Baby Olivia law. It is certainly very clear what the intention is, and I’m very uncomfortable with that.”

Rep. Lindsay Burke, D-Lexington, said she would rather have schools use medically accurate curriculums on sexual health and reproduction.

“If you would like to work on trying to make Kentucky a healthier state, let’s scrap this and start from the beginning,” Burke said.

Parents would have the option of having their child opt out of viewing the video. Schools would have to notify parents at least two weeks before the video would be shown, and parents would have to sign a permission slip before the child could participate.

“I want to be clear that this isn’t infringing on any parental rights, and this is recommended curriculum,” said Rep. Emily Callaway, R-Louisville.

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