Last Tuesday, October 28, three Gilbert School Board members voted to redact certain passages from a required biology textbook that discusses an abortion method to terminate pregnancy. Prior to the meeting, Ms. Christine Accurso, a pro-life Gilbert resident, alerted the Gilbert community to please attend the meeting and stand up for Life. Ms. Accurso has sent an email thanking the board members and the community for their outpouring of support.
One of the problems with the abortion passage was that it violated an Arizona statute. Some people have stated that this has been turned into a moral issue about the books and content rather than simply looked at from the legal perspective. But the fact is that public sentiment drives political policy. Thus, the original SB1009 that was written by Senator Barto and signed into law didn’t come out of nowhere. It reflected the shared moral beliefs of most of the people of Arizona. Thus, ARS 15-115 is literally a moral law. You cannot separate the moral and the legal issue. The passage in the book stands in opposition to both public sentiment and the law. That’s why it was, thankfully, brought before the board. That’s why the board majority, thankfully, voted to redact it.
Christine Accurso writes:
I am grateful to announce that Gilbert Public Schools voted to become in legal compliance with ARS 15-115 (SB1009) yesterday evening. There were many people in attendance who were urging the board to follow the law. There are many ways that the district could move forward with becoming compliant. However, the way that they chose to move forward was evident by governing board member, Julie Smith’s motion that read, "I move that this governing board direct administration to redact all references of abortion in any furnished materials given to students as part of any instruction in Gilbert Public Schools that does not give preference, encouragement and support to childbirth and adoption in the same furnished material. Administration is to provide an update to the board at the November 18, 2014 meeting with details of plan of implementation."
If it wasn’t for Julie, this item would have never made it to the agenda. Thank you Julie!
I am also grateful to Senator Nancy Barto, the sponsor of SB1009, who came to address the board, as well as Natalie Decker from Alliance Defending Freedom for assisting the board in seeing the legal issue at hand. Thank you Senate President Andy Biggs, Rep. Eddie Farnsworth & Rep. Kelly Townsend for attending the meeting and supporting the law. (Rep. Warren Petersen couldn’t attend, but supports the law.) For those of you who attended and stood for LIFE and this great law, THANK YOU! We do not have many opportunities in this country to stand up and cheer on a pro-life law.
This little law will not overturn Roe vs. Wade, but it will educate and protect the children in public schools in Arizona when it is implemented.
I encourage all of you to ask your public school superintendent or charter school administrator about this law and give them a copy. I posted a link below. This applies to any instruction or furnished materials as a part of any instruction. So, check your curriculum and textbooks wisely. I am confident that many school districts don’t even know that this is in their Biology & Science books. Even if they skip that section and don’t teach on it, it is a furnished material and the law applies.
To conclude, I am grateful for the three school board members who voted last night to implement the law and to the candidates (Ron Bellus, Reed Carr & Dawn Brimhall) running for the board in next week’s election, who made public statements supporting the law be implemented. Remember that elections have consequences and I encourage you to VOTE PRO-LIFE!
Link to ARS 15-115.
Letter to Dr. Christina Kishimoto from Alliance Defending Freedom