Fargo, ND— Governor Burgum bowed to political pressure and signed SB 2030, a bill that deliberately attacks academic freedom by prohibiting a long-standing federally funded sex education and research program that has provided evidence-based education to hundreds of North Dakotans. NDSU has been awarded the federal grant and they partner with Planned Parenthood to deliver voluntary, age-appropriate sex education programs.
While Governor Burgum vetoed an especially egregious provision of the bill that would have penalized faculty who violate this new prohibition, the result is the same: politicians are undermining the independence of higher education faculty and stripping institutions of academic freedom and student choice. They are intentionally targeting health education programs that were approved and funded by both the Obama and Trump administrations solely because these programs do not align with their personal political ideology; the end result is that politicians are undermining health education programs that improve public health in North Dakota.
Statement from Katie Christensen, North Dakota State Director of External Affairs, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund:
“North Dakota politicians are holding college scholarship funding hostage based on political ideology. Their political overreach limits student opportunity, academic research, and will have a chilling effect on innovation in our state. With this new law, academic freedom is undermined and at the same time, fewer North Dakotans will have access to crucial comprehensive sex education that improves health, relationships, and decision-making. Age-appropriate evidence-based sex education has a proven track record of improving health and has had bipartisan support, including from the Trump Administration.
We will continue doing all we can to offer these crucial health education programs to North Dakotans. We see how it changes lives- and saves lives. North Dakotans deserve that opportuntiy, and we will keep working to bring knowledge and education to our state.”
Key Program Facts: NDSU’s federal PREP grant
- NDSU manages oversight and evaluation of the grant, while Planned Parenthood implements the age-appropriate education program. All participants 17 and younger must have parent or guardian permission to attend.
- All Planned Parenthood education programs in North Dakota are optional.
- All grant recipients are required to implement an evidence-based curriculum provided by the federal HHS Teen Pregnancy Prevention Evidence Review.
- Planned Parenthood educators are trained on approved curriculum options Making Proud Choices!, Positive Prevention PLUS, and Sexual Health and Adolescent Risk Prevention (SHARP)
Founded in 1992, the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization. As the advocacy and electoral arm of PPMNS, we mobilize supporters of all parties to defend and increase access to family planning services and fact based, medically accurate sexuality education. We work to inspire and engage citizens to take up the cause of reproductive health and rights through education, electoral activity, grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy.