Abortion Text Pulled From Arizona Biology Books
Schools district staff in Gilbert Public Schools in Arizona will edit a high school honors biology textbook to comply with a two-year-old state law that requires public schools to “present childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion.”
Public School board members voted 3-2 to make the change to the textbook, agreeing that it does not align with state regulations on how abortion is to be presented in public schools.
Campbell Biology: Concepts & Connections (Seventh Edition), the book in question, has a chapter that covers abstinence, birth control methods, tubal ligations, vasectomies, and drugs that can induce abortion.
The textbook describes the morning-after pill and mifepristone, a pill that can end a pregnancy in taken during the first trimester.
Board President Staci Burk believes that their school is likely the first to proactively ensure the legislative intent is being enforced due to the recent change in the law.
A letter from Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona urged the board not to make changes to the book. She believes changes violate students’ First Amendment rights.
Notably, the Arizona Department of Education previously reviewed the textbook and did not feel it violated the state statute. The book is sold on textbook sites and on websites such as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
I disagree with the decision to remove the information about the morning after pill. Students have a right to know about all birth control options, and removing it from the textbook won’t stop the students from learning about it. Instead, it means that students will find out about it from other sources that may be inaccurate.