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HomeNewsTennessee Passes Controversial Bill Requiring Students to Watch Video Created By Anti-Abortion...

Tennessee Passes Controversial Bill Requiring Students to Watch Video Created By Anti-Abortion Group

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Tennessee Senate House
Source: Reddit

Tennessee is causing a huge ruckus with a new proposal that could make watching a three-minute video on fetal development compulsory for public school students. The state Senate just approved the legislation, known as the “Baby Olivia Act,” sending it to Gov. Bill Lee for consideration.

If this bill is signed into law, schools in Tennessee would have to include the video in their family life curriculum. This curriculum will cover topics such as human growth, development, and sexuality through a “high-quality, computer-generated animation or high-definition ultrasound of at least three minutes in duration that shows the development of the brain, heart, sex organs, and other vital organs in early fetal development.”

Some critics, however, say the video is not quite accurate medically and could have some serious consequences. According to Dr. Daniel Grossman, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, the video misrepresents several important things about the development of the Fetus.

For instance, it claims that life begins at fertilization, which is apparently contrary to the medical consensus that pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus.

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ALSO READ: Florida Supreme Court Upholds 6-Week Abortion Ban, Leaves Final Decision to Voters

Grossman also points out some other things that are wrong in the video’s depiction of fetal development timelines and the viability of fetuses at different stages. Additionally, he pointed out that the video does not address the physical and emotional experiences of pregnant people.

Despite criticism from medical experts and opposition from some lawmakers, supporters of the bill say the video provides valuable information about humans’ development from conception. Republican Sen. Janice Bowling, a sponsor of the Senate bill, described the video as scientifically accurate and defended its inclusion in the school curriculum.

“Like much anti-abortion misinformation, the ‘Baby Olivia’ video is designed to manipulate the emotions of viewers rather than to share evidence-based, scientific information about embryonic and fetal development,” the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) told CNN in a statement.

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“Many of the claims made in this video are not aligned with scientific fact but rather reflect the biased and ideologic perspectives of the extremists who created the video. ACOG is strongly opposed to the spread of misinformation about reproductive health.”

POLL—Should Abortion Be Legal in Most Cases?

The passage of the bill has caused a stir. Those who do not agree with the bill are raising concerns about its impact on students’ education. State Minority Leader Sen. Raumesh Akbari showed the importance of a medically accurate sex education for students, one free of any form of bias.

“Students deserve unbiased, medically accurate sex education that helps them make healthy and safe decisions,” Akbari said. “This legislation achieves none of those goals.”

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The debate over the “Baby Olivia Act” is only a reflection of larger tensions around reproductive rights and education in Tennessee. The state’s ban on abortions at all stages of pregnancy, with limited exceptions, is a further explanation of the controversial nature of these topics.

ALSO READ: Trump Condemns Arizona Near-Total Abortion Ban Ruling, Says It Has Gone Too Far

All eyes are on Gov. Lee’s as everyone waits for his decision on the bill. Similar legislation is being considered in other states. Whether these proposals will lead to a shift in how fetal development is taught in schools remains to be seen.

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