Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signs troubling sex ed bill into law

Illinois, sex ed

Last week, Illinois’ pro-abortion governor J.B. Pritzker signed a concerning comprehensive K-12 sex education bill into law in a purported effort to “keep our children safe.” But critics of the REACH Act (the informal name of the bill) insist that the new stipulations, which are effective immediately and applicable to any public school district that currently teaches comprehensive sex education, will have the opposite effect and lead to the grooming of young children.

The new law mandates alignment with stated objectives of the National Sex Education Standards, which were developed with input from Planned Parenthood, and requires parents to “opt-out” of rather than “opt-in” to sex education for their children. As previously reported by Live Action News, concerning elements of the new legislation, which Planned Parenthood lobbied hard to pass, include its heavy emphasis on the nebulous concept of mutual ‘consent’ as the arbitrary standard for acceptable sexual behavior — without reference to or education on the proven negative effects of early-onset sexual activity among minors, especially among minor girls. In fact, the main body of the Act contains no references to the importance of delaying sexual activity.

READ: Selling Sex in Schools: Who’s behind the sex ed being taught to our children?

The Act’s only requirements for acceptable sexual activity are that it must be “consensual, affirming, and pleasurable.” And yet, research has found that despite all the “rules” around consent, even college-age women, who are more likely than men to report feeling coercion or pressure to engage in sex acts, consistently continue to report “feeling obligated to submit to unwanted sex acts for a variety of reasons, including: feeling that consent was implied through earlier actions, believing that submitting to a sex act is necessary for relational maintenance, or fearing violent or non-violent repercussions.” How should middle-schoolers be expected to navigate the consent minefield if even college students can’t get it right?

Additionally, the Act seems to veer away from unbiased education into ideology-driven propaganda as it mandates coverage of “the benefits of contraception, condoms, and barrier methods to avoid pregnancy” without any requirement that the attendant risks, which are particularly high for young girls, be taught as well.

The objectionable content of the REACH Act is likely to come at a cost for Illinois schoolchildren. As former Planned Parenthood sex educator Monica Cline previously observed to Breitbart, “By looking at the standards and resources the National Sex Education Standards provide, states who encourage adoption of this content are advocating for the abuse of our children by exposing our kids to obscene sexual notions and inappropriate ideas for their age. Put simply, they are enticing and grooming our children for sexual activity.”

According to a statement put out by Governor Pritzker’s office, “Modernizing our sex education standards will help keep our children safe and ensure important lessons like consent and internet safety are taught in classrooms. By working together, we’ll continue to strengthen our education system and deliver the bright future our kids deserve.”

But many Illinois legislators across party lines decried the new legislation, and Republican Rep. Darren Bailey was among them, saying in a statement that he is “disgusted and appalled, but not surprised a liberal and out-of-touch Governor like JB signed a hyper-partisan and extreme piece of legislation requiring an all-or-nothing curriculum for sex education in schools…. The bill is obscene and fails to align with most community standards. It was created by activist organizations that don’t care about active parental consent or strong families.”

Democratic Representative Fred Crespo noted during debate over the legislation earlier this year that no other state had signed on to NSES standards.

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