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Image of a megaphone with the text: "NORTH DAKOTANS SPOKE UP FOR SEX ED"

Comprehensive sex education is proven to improve health, relationships, and decision-making. In fact, sex education saves lives. But during the 2021 legislative session, North Dakota politicians decided to attack funding for sex education programs and vital academic research.

State legislators added a harmful provision to SB 2030 to target North Dakota State University’s nearly decade-long partnership with Planned Parenthood to deliver voluntary, age-appropriate sex education to hundreds of North Dakotans.

Planned Parenthood, along with concerned organizations and individuals across the state, fought back—but state legislators still passed SB 2030. The bill is a blatant form of political overreach. It attacks sex education, while also limiting universities’ ability to freely conduct academic research, partner with community organizations, and set their own curricula. 

North Dakotans spoke out against SB 2030 in local and national publications. Here is what university students, professors, and sexual and reproductive health advocates had to say about SB 2030 and why our state needs both academic freedom and access to sex education. 

Natasha Rosario, NDSU student and Planned Parenthood intern, The Forum

"The personal ideology of lawmakers does not belong in academics. It should not impact what I can and cannot study, internship opportunities, or what type of research occurs on campus." 

Rev. Karen VanFossan, minister at Fargo-Moorhead Unitarian Universalist Church, The Forum

"Honest, accurate information about sexuality is key to healthy development for youth. Planned Parenthood programming helps to dismantle stereotypes, foster healthy relationships, and empower people of all ages to make informed decisions about our bodies." 

Matthew Friedmann, NDSU student body president, The Forum

"When we step in the classroom, we need to know beyond a doubt that the information we are being taught comes from professionals in the field and not from politicians a hundred miles away in Bismarck." 

Preston Mitchum, policy director of Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE), Ms. Magazine

“Comprehensive sex ed that is medically accurate and age appropriate is so important to young people, to help them make healthy decisions. Any disinvestment from that is causing harm to young people who really need it—people who won’t get it at home, people who have experienced family rejection, and or who don’t have stable housing.”

Jacey Spaeth, NDSU student, The Forum

"If a student wants to pursue an internship with Planned Parenthood because it fits with their career goals, is it the place of the state legislature to prevent that from happening?" 

Professor Yvette Koepke-Nelson, director of University of North Dakota’s Women and Gender Studies Program, Ms. Magazine

“Rather than spending your time doing the research, for instance, you have to figure out will this research be okay, and if so, how? And the same with any event or a speaker. Or a student proposing an internship or volunteer work. The stakes are very high because the funding is so important to higher education.”

We are thankful for those of you who chose to speak up for comprehensive sex ed and fight this harmful legislation. If you are interested in sharing your story to stand with Planned Parenthood and its services, Planned Parenthood North Central States is currently recruiting for it’s Speakers Bureau. Apply to become a member today!

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Tags: sex education, sex_ed

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