In the past year, parents across the U.S. rose up and insisted that the abortion chain Planned Parenthood not be allowed access to their school children.
Their message to their local school boards was clear: We do not want a pro-abortion agenda to be pushed on our children.
But are abortion activists influencing public school children in more subtle ways as well?
LifeNews recently discovered heavy pro-abortion biases in a best-selling American government textbook. Digging a little deeper, we learned that the lead author of the textbook, “American Government: Roots and Reform” (Pearson) by Karen J. O’Connor and Larry J. Sabato, is an abortion advocate.
Through the years, conservatives have complained about bias in public education, including through textbooks and other materials.
In parent Jeanette Ward’s case, her concerns were not unjustified.
A member of the U-46 School Board near Chicago, Ward raised concerns about the textbook in December after discovering biased sections about abortion and other political issues. She cast the sole vote against it.
LifeNews, which reviewed sections of the new AP edition of the textbook, now in its 13th edition, found several deeply concerning passages. And while many educators do put aside their bias to teach students, it appears that lead author Karen O’Connor did not.
The textbook seems to go out of its way to bring up the abortion issue, something that stood out to Ward.
“This is supposed to be about American history, and I found 20 to 30 citations for abortion. Seriously?” Ward said.
One example is the very first paragraph of the introduction to students:
“Why is learning about history important to the study of politics today? And how are the ideas of the Framers relevant for understanding modern political issues such as health care, immigration, and abortion rights? … As students of the American political process, it can be challenging to identify what is really important and how government truly affects your lives.”
Couched in these terms, the authors suggest that abortion is a “right” and an important one that students should be concerned about protecting.
Later, the textbook portrays the pro-life movement in a negative light. On page 86, the authors tell students that “well organized” pro-life groups “have attacked the right to an abortion and its constitutional underpinnings in the right to privacy.”
On page 216, the textbook also attacks conservative judges who uphold pro-life laws:
“Liberal activist decisions often expand the rights of political and legal minorities. But, conservative activist judges view their positions as an opportunity to issue broad rulings that impose their own political beliefs and policies, such as expanding the rights of corporations.”
In other words, students are taught that liberal pro-abortion judges are benevolent public servants who fight for rights and protections for the oppressed, while conservative judges are right-wing ideologues who use their power to force their personal beliefs on others.
Then, on page 261 and again on page 267, the authors completely misrepresent a position of many social conservatives by claiming they oppose contraception. This vast oversimplification unfairly misleads students.
Some conservatives (including pro-life advocates) do oppose artificial contraception. But polls consistently show that a strong majority of Americans, including pro-lifers, do not. What many conservatives are fighting against is not contraception itself but the government forcing religious individuals and groups to pay for others to use it.
Abortion activists have been somewhat successful in manipulating this narrative, turning it into opposition to contraception rather than the true concerns – conscience rights and religious freedom.
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And this is the “best-selling American politics textbook in the U.S.”
O’Connor’s background may help explain the bias.
American University, where O’Connor teaches, describes her as an expert on “reproductive rights” issues. She has written extensively about abortion and testified in support of abortion before the U.S. House and Senate.
“We are a Nation founded on individual rights and what could be more important than the individual right to decide what you would like to do with your body,” O’Connor said during a House committee in 2006 about Roe v. Wade.
Donor records from the Center for Responsive Politics reveal that O’Connor also gives large political donations to pro-abortion candidates and political groups.
According to the records, she donated $19,000 to Emily’s List, a political action committee dedicated solely to electing pro-abortion women to office. O’Connor gave thousands more to pro-abortion political candidates, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Allison Schwartz, a former abortion clinic manager.
LifeNews could not find many details about the political leanings of co-author Larry J. Sabato, a political analyst well-known for his election predictions.
Parents deserve to know who is influencing the minds of their children, and students deserve to know that the people teaching them may be pushing a political agenda.
Ward urged parents to get more involved in their children’s education. She said she teaches her daughters, both in middle school, how to defend their beliefs.
“Parents, get involved in your local school board meetings. Ask to review textbooks. As a parent and taxpayer, that’s your right,” Ward said.