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The legislature began to defund radical gender ideology, but the fight is not over

The legislature began to defund radical gender ideology, but the fight is not over

Niklas Kleinworth
April 26, 2023

Lawmakers cut or redirected almost $720,000 in funds being used to sexualize youth throughout Idaho. This money consisted of federal grants that were used to support sex education endorsed by Planned Parenthood.  Eliminating this misuse of taxpayer funds is a victory for efforts to preserve childhood innocence and the stability of the nuclear family.

Over the past year, the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Center for American Education produced research that revealed the shocking extent to which Idaho schools were teaching children Planned Parenthood-endorsed sex education curricula. These programs teach abstinence-in-name-only content that instructs students in how to get an abortion and hide porn from their parents. The content also graphically describes how to perform various sex acts, promotes promiscuous sex, and endorses other harmful behaviors like polyamory and gender transitions.

According to a report from the Idaho Freedom Foundation and the Claremont Institute, these sex-ed programs are all part of a “Sex-Education Industrial Complex.” This political machine is an elaborate, self-feeding network that includes studies, standards, and curricula to support Planned Parenthood’s interests in promoting abortion and transgenderism.

Nationally, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates have received $1.68 billion of these grants since 2010. Even conservative states have adopted standards and curricula that fund this organization’s moral corruption.

In Idaho, this funding came from inaptly named grant programs like the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) and Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE). Funds were even being funneled through federal social welfare programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). These grants were funded through the Division of Public Health, part of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW), and then disseminated to local public health districts. The public health districts then implemented sex education programs in schools. At least six of Idaho’s seven public health districts implemented a Planned Parenthood-endorsed curriculum, known as “Reducing the Risk,” hiding their sexualization campaign under an innocuous-sounding banner of abstinence education. 

Lawmakers voted to cut all $579,100 of federal funding provided to SRAE and PREP. They also stipulated that funds allocated to TANF could not be used for any instruction or coursework that deals “with the subjects of sexual behavior, sexual health, sexual attitudes, or sexual philosophy.” This results in another $140,000 cut to the sex education program.

Lawmakers also passed legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Barbara Ehardt and Sen. Cindy Carlson, that defines the term “abstinence” in Idaho Code. This should prevent Planned Parenthood or similar groups from being able to hide under the cover of a mislabeled abstinence education program.

These changes represent a key shift in the state’s role in funding programs that disseminate woke ideology to Idaho’s children. But the job isn’t finished. We know that even more Idaho taxpayer dollars are being directed at the promotion of radical gender ideology, and we expect legislators will need to take additional action when they return to Boise in January.

Idaho Freedom Foundation
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