Comprehensive sex education bill 1 vote away from governor’s desk

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DENVER -- A bill to revamp Colorado's sex education curriculum cleared the full Senate Monday morning on a 20-15 straight party-line vote.

House Bill 1081, which must be re-approved by the House because it was amended by the Senate, creates new statewide standards for teaching abstinence and safe sex.

Parents would be required to opt their children out of the program, which reverses the current requirement that they approve participation for their children.

"There are Republicans who think if we teach this stuff, that students will have more sex," said Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora, a former teacher. "The reality is kids are having sex. We need to make sure they're getting accurate information so they can be safe."

House passes Crimes Against Pregnant Women Act

Also Monday morning, the House voted to approve legislation that will allow Colorado prosecutors to file additional charges related to the death of an unborn child as a result of a crime.

House Bill 1154, which cleared the House on a 50-14 vote with almost half of the GOP caucus voting yes, is called the "Crimes Against Pregnant Women Act."

Republicans have run their own "fetal homicide" measures, which would make the unborn fetus the legal victim of the crime, but Democrats have voted those down based on concerns that the legislation is tantamount to recognizing "Personhood" and could threaten abortion rights in the state.

H.B. 1154, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Mike Foote of Lafayette and Claire Levy of Boulder, makes the woman carrying the unborn child the actual victim of the crime.

"I know some folks would like Personhood in this bill, but voters have said no to Personood," Levy said on the House floor Friday. "We are doing what we can do, consistent with the will of the people, to protect pregnant women."

That bill now heads to the Senate.

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