by Becky GINOS
BOUNTIFUL—The 2018 Legislative Session is in full swing and the United Women’s Forum (UWF) met last week to discuss bills they support and others they want to fight. UWF President Dalane England gave a brief summary of each bill to be considered and their pros and cons.
“Should we be forced to be good or choose to be good?” she said of the lawmaking process. “HB286 makes changes to sex education. Utah has the lowest rate of STDs and teen pregnancies in the nation. We use abstinence based and abstinence only currently. Abstinence teaches about relationships and waiting until you are married because a bond is formed. It teaches respect. It doesn’t stop every teen from having sex, but there is more success.”
The proposal in HB286 is for the use of online modules, England explained. “On the surface that sounds fabulous. The problem is those are very easy to edit or change,” she said. “They’ve also been co-oped with national and international modules so we have to get in compliance with them.”
The bill’s sponsor also wanted to add in consent, she said. “I believe teens can’t consent legally, they’re minors. They should be taught refusal skills. Teens shouldn’t have sex until marriage.”
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross is sponsoring SB138 that deals with gender change amendments. “This is a bill I love to hate,” said England. “It is very offensive to me. I can’t understand why anybody would support this. You can just go change your gender. Sen. Weiler said it’s needed to be consistent. I get that but it makes it so every judge has to do it. You can’t change your DNA; your sex is male or female. He’s saying gender and sex is the same thing – I don’t agree. We have to draw the line somewhere.”
People can change their sex with a birth certificate, she said. “A boy could change his sex and play on a girls’ sports team. I consider this a direct assault on women,” said England. “Or a girl could get a birth certificate and change her sex and go into a rec center and shower with men. That is live pornography and is an assault on our youth, society and men.”
England encouraged the group to let their lawmakers know they oppose the bill before it passes the House. “This is our 11th hour,” she said. “For judges I totally support consistency but I want protection for my family and children too. A judge who is morally against it will have to do it. I find that an affront to the judicial system.”
Other bills included HB232 sponsored by Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful regarding health education amendments that would remove the words “cannot promote contraception.” “I don’t see why this would be controversial or hard to understand,” said England. “This is a problem that isn’t real. In no way is it in young people’s best interest to be having sex.”
England also discussed a bill that would prohibit aborting a child with Down syndrome and SB118 that makes clear a woman considering an abortion be informed and gives consent as well as two bills dealing with assisted suicide.
“HB210 is a big deal,” she said. “They’re using the terminology ‘death with dignity.’ This bill makes it legal for a doctor to give a prescription that will kill you. Do you want your doctor or the government to decide and have that type of power? It’s a really emotional issue. Where do you want to draw the line on that?”
The group covered several other bills currently being considered by the legislature and England asked the members to get involved and contact their representatives either for or against to hopefully make a difference in their decisions.