North Dakota State University set off a controversy when, thumbing its collective nose at the legislature, they partnered with abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood for sex education research. Legislators objected to NDSU use of funds to partner with Planned Parenthood, but Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem sided with NDSU.
In amending SB2368 (another anti-abortion bill introduced by state Senator Joe Miller), the House made it clear that no funds are to be used to partner with a group promoting abortion. Here’s the pertinent text:
Except as required by federal law, no funds of this state or any agency, county, municipality, school district, or any other subdivision thereof, or institution under the control of the state board of higher education, and no federal funds passing through the state treasury or a state agency may be used … . To contract with, or provide financial or other support to individuals, organizations, or entities performing, inducing, referring for, or counseling in favor of, abortions.
You’ll note from the amendments in context that “school district” was added as well, which would address an issue from last year wherein North Dakota’s public schools, under then-Superintendent Wayne Sanstead (a Democrat) also attempted to partner with Planned Parenthood for sex education.
The amendment passed on the House floor on a 57-35 vote, but not before Rep. Josh Boschee (who has as a constituent one of the NDSU researchers who got the grant) gave a long-winded speech about “academic freedom.” Because “academic freedom” means forcing the taxpayers to subsidize overtly political groups like Planned Parenthood.
Here’s the floor debate: