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TX Gov. Abbott Protects Privacy and Grants Dignity to the Unborn

We are happy to share two pieces of good news from our family policy friends at Texas Values and both relate to Gov. Abbott.

First, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called a special legislative session beginning July 18 to, among other things, pursue passage of legislation to protect privacy for women and children in bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers in public schools and government buildings.

Second, the governor of the Lone Star State signed into law a ban on dismemberment abortions, making Texas the eighth state to protect the preborn from such a heinous act. The Texas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act also gives dignity to aborted babies by requiring that they be cremated and buried.

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Update on Boyertown Bathroom Privacy Case

Officials in the Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania, who have been sued by several students with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) for instituting a “transgender” shower, bathroom, and locker room policy, are now considering the need for privacy after all. To that end, the school district is conducting a study and hiring an architect to see if it is feasible to modify existing multi-use high school facilities to create more privacy. While it is comforting that the school district at some level recognizes the incongruity of their policy, it has not been rescinded, and in fact, they continue to enforce it.

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Male Student Asked to ‘Tolerate’ Transgender in Boys’ Locker Room

Without notifying parents or students, Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania implemented a bathroom policy that allows biological males in girls’ facilities and biological females in boys’ facilities. As a result, a high school junior referred to as Joel Doe found himself undressing next to a girl. Doe confronted administrators about the situation and was told to either “tolerate” it or be homeschooled. Pennsylvania law requires schools to maintain sex-specific facilities. Doe’s parents have filed a lawsuit on behalf of their minor child for violation of his privacy rights. The district has until April 4 to respond.

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New Healthcare Bill Goes Against Employee Privacy Rights

Under the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act filed this month by North Carolina Congressman Virginia Foxx, employers would offer genetic testing as part of a voluntary workplace wellness program. Employees who agree to genetic testing and share results with the company would then save up to 30 percent on their workplace health insurance. Those who decline to participate in the testing because it invades privacy rights would not get a discount and thus would end up paying more for their health insurance. Currently, federal law protects genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. Nearly 70 organizations are fighting the bill. The bill is currently under review by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

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FACT President Reacts to Defeat of Student Privacy Legislation

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (March 22, 2017) — The following statement regarding the decision of the state Senate Education Committee not to discuss Senate Bill 771 regarding the privacy and security of K-12 students in bathrooms and locker rooms is attributed to FACT President David Fowler:

The Trump administration rightly left issues regarding the privacy and security of students in public school bathrooms and locker rooms up to each state. Today, nine members of the Tennessee Senate Education Committee, seven of whom voted for this same bill last year, decided that legislation on this topic did not even merit a motion or a second. In other words, it seems the members of the committee thought other considerations weighed against taking time to discuss and vote on whether a local school system should be allowed to let a biological male to use a girls’ bathroom or locker room. I believe tens of thousands of Tennesseans will see this as an insult to their values.

The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT), which David Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on marriage, families, life, and religious liberty. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values God’s design for the family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit FACTn.org.

Media Contact: Laura Bagby, Director of Communications | Office Phone: 615-261-1338 | email: laura.bagby@factn.org