Ban on Planned Parenthood teaching materials deemed ‘problematic’

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A bill that would impose penalties on affiliates of “abortion services providers” for providing teaching materials to Alaska public schools has been deemed “constitutionally problematic” by the Legislature’s Legal Services Division.

Senate Bill 191 was introduced last month by Sen. Mike Dunleavy to accompany his proposal to ban groups like Planned Parenthood from providing sex ed curriculum in schools.

Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner requested the legal review to look at whether SB 191 violates the constitution.

The legal counsel’s report says the bill could infringe on first amendment freedom of speech, for example by preventing public school teachers from volunteering with Planned Parenthood in their free time.

It also concluded that the bill compromises equal protection laws, by singling out employees and representatives of abortion service providers for differential treatment.

The Senate Education committee will take up Senate Bill 191 this afternoon at 3:30.