The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Iowa bill requiring students to watch an anti-abortion video ignites controversy

PV+alumn+Leila+Assadi+and+Senior+Luci+Patel+at+a+pro+choice+rally%2C+in+the+midst+of+the+overturn+of+Roe+V.+Wade
Asritha Gunukula
PV alumn Leila Assadi and Senior Luci Patel at a pro choice rally, in the midst of the overturn of Roe V. Wade

Iowa’s human growth and development classes will now be requiring all students to watch a computer-generated video regarding abortion. 

‘Baby Olivia’ is an animated fetus that will be shown growing throughout a three minute clip until it reaches birth. Bills passed in Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and West Virginia will require seventh through twelfth grade public school students to watch videos of Baby Olivia and similar animated short films of the creation of human life as a requirement in their sex-ed courses.

Created by the most popular and widely engaged anti-abortion organization, Live Action, this video is intended to help young people understand where they come from and appreciate human life; however, many feel that the main goal of showing this process is to emotionally manipulate these young students, especially young girls, into declining their right to choose and following the pro-life agenda. 

On Live Action’s youtube channel, the Baby Olivia video, titled, “A Never Before Seen Look At Human Life In The Womb | Baby Olivia” takes viewers through a narrated short film of each stage of a human fetus before delivery. 

With the narrator beginning the video stating, “Though she has yet to greet the outside world, she has already completed an amazing journey,” the narrator continues, “This is the moment where life begins,” she explains while showing sperm cells attaching themselves to an egg. This further indicates the pro-life view that life starts at the moment of conception, yet many argue that not all fertilized eggs successfully implant into the uterus to result in a successful pregnancy. 

The First Amendment protects individual beliefs, regardless of if they are the majority or not. But many pro-choice students, like senior Brie Howell, take issue with kids seeing these heavily biased videos in class.

“The bill that was introduced is emotionally manipulative to teens. Forcing them to watch a video that portrays a fetus as a child is harmful. Schools and teachers are supposed to remain unbiased when it comes to political matters,” Howell said.

The school system was originally created to foster curious minds and help students gain the knowledge and education needed so they can generate their own thoughts and ideas, yet by boosting and sharing platforms in the school space that are clearly biased toward one side, students aren’t just being educated, but indoctrinated. 

“It’s also not like they are showing both sides of the argument; a pro-choice biased video and pro-life one. They are only showing one side of the argument which is simply immoral,” Howell explained. 

While human growth and development classes are usually required at the end of elementary school and beginning of middle school, Missouri schools would require the viewing of this video as young as third grade. Late elementary and middle school students are already very young and more naive to believing anything taught in schools without making their own opinion, so showing this to as young as 8 year olds will only create a strong bias in a child’s mind from a very young age in an environment where they should be allowed to create their own opinions. Additionally there is an incredibly low chance that students this young understand anything about abortion, which some students believe will influence young minds.

With Live Action’s main goals being to “put an end to the horrific killing of preborn children” and “changing minds” as written on their website, the bias that any women that has an abortion procedure is a criminal and the whole purpose being to change the minds of pro-choicers is too much bias for a classroom. 

While many young students are worried about this new bill, there are many who don’t see the harm, like junior Tanya Rastogi, who made the argument that the video doesn’t seem to have any extreme bias even though it was made by a pro-life organization.

“The video simply shows the various stages of a baby in the womb. Yes it entails some biased buzz words but all of this can just go back to the very complicated pro life vs pro choice argument. If we’re focusing on just the video itself, it’s just teaching kids how a fetus is formed. While the video’s background and pro life intent is unfair to show in classrooms, it is not consistently spoken on throughout the video so I think it’s fine to show,” Rastogi pointed out. 

Whether pro-life, pro-choice, or anywhere in between, all students seem to have a consensus that it is simply unethical to show and teach biased content toward one side of an argument without at least showing the other side equally. Students cannot create their own authentic stance when they are only given one side.  

An individual’s stance on the abortion matter will greatly swing how they feel about the video. But whether one likes or dislikes the videos, schools would be feeding students one side of a very complex and nuanced issue that has been directly impacting people for over fifty years of our nation’s history. 

View Comments (2)
Donate to Spartan Shield
$480
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, Iowa. Your contribution will allow us to purchase needed equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Asritha Gunukula, Multimedia Manager
Asritha Gunukula is a junior at Pleasant Valley High School and serves as the Multimedia Manager for the Spartan Shield. Asritha is passionate about computer science, design, and writing as her favorite classes are AP Computer Science A, AP Lang, and Honors Journalism. Outside of school, Asritha is a part of many activities including an all girls FTC team, Flourish & Bots, and a nationwide youth climate change organization, where she uses coding to create games to teach the youth about the current climate crisis. Asritha also spends her summers volunteering at robotics summer programs at Riverdale Heights Elementary. Some of her hobbies include baking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. 

Donate to Spartan Shield
$480
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (2)

All Spartan Shield Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • E

    EllaApr 7, 2024 at 11:38 pm

    This topic is essential- giving preteens/teens the needed information and facts to help them form their own opinions is the whole basis of education. If we continue to bring political matters into the classroom students will be unable to create their own opinion without biases.

    Reply
  • K

    KaleighMar 22, 2024 at 8:44 am

    This is a very important topic and conversation needed to be had. I think showing this bias video in class has many conflicts. It is good for children to be educated but they should also be allowed to form their own opinion without the school trying to change that.

    Reply