SIECUS Condemns Tennessee Lawmakers for Passing “The Baby Olivia Bill”


April 9th, 2024

Contact: Michelle Slaybaugh


WASHINGTON, DC., April 9th, 2024Tennessee is set to pass  HB 2435 / SB 2767, a dangerous bill joining an alarming trend of laws attempting to incorporate medically inaccurate and fear-based messaging as a part of family life education. Eleven (11) states — Iowa, Missouri, West Virginia, Hawaii, Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky — are pushing similar bills mandating students watch a misleading ultrasound video as part of a “human development” curriculum (some of these bills are being referred to as “The Baby Olivia Bill”). 

North Dakota already enacted a comparable law featuring a video that meets the description of “Meet Baby Olivia”, developed by an infamous anti-abortion and political extremist group Live Action. While the North Dakota law does not explicitly mention Live Action, their founder Lila Rose described that win as “just the beginning” 

Unfortunately, the Tennessee “Baby Olivia Bill” (HB 2435 / SB 2767 ) will be signed into law any day now. The “Meet Baby Olivia” video is misleading, medically inaccurate, and explicitly asserts that life begins at fertilization. Live Action is using the guise of sex education to disseminate anti-abortion disinformation in schools claiming their goal is to educate children about fetal development, however, Live Action uses a false timeline of fetal development and misrepresents fetal characteristics in the film going against the medical guidelines and practice of the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians – the leading medical authority in the United States. 

“It’s disgusting that lawmakers think it is appropriate to feed lies to the children of Tennessee. This isn’t sex education, this is a disinformation campaign designed to brainwash young children and force an out-of-touch and wildly unpopular regressive and false reproductive agenda in the public education system, using anti-abortion, anti-science propaganda about fetal development. This is unacceptable in America’s schools and SIECUS vows to continue to work with sex education advocates on the ground to fight the implementation of this law,” says Christine Soyong Harley, President & CEO of SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. 

The National Sex Education Standards do not recommend viewing an ultrasound video for sex education and displaying such a video is not considered a best practice in the sex education field. But these bills go beyond even this concerning requirement as they are based on religious ideology and disinformation, not science. 

Young people in Tennessee are already impacted by the near-total ban on abortion that went into effect post-Roe.This legislation only compounds the gap in access to medically necessary and qualified health services like abortion care. 

“All young people — no matter who they are or where they live — deserve sex education that is reflective of their experiences and needs. Experts in the field of sex education and child development agree this does not include watching a video of an ultrasound, especially a fake ultrasound produced by an anti-abortion organization. Young people deserve better than this bill offers them – they deserve an accurate curriculum that will equip them to make healthy decisions and build the futures they want,” says Harley.

Research shows that Tennessee parents overwhelmingly want their children to get sex education that is age-appropriate and fact-based. According to over 30 years of research, sex education is shown to delay the onset of sexual activity, increase condom and contraception use, improve mental health, reduce intimate partner violence and sexual assault, and support individuals with healthy decision-making throughout their lives. The passage of “the Baby Olivia” bill goes against what parents want and stunts the ability of young Tennesseans to make informed and empowered decisions about their reproductive health.




SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change has served as the national voice for sex education since 1964, asserting that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. Through policy, advocacy, education, and strategic communications efforts, SIECUS advances sex education as a vehicle for social change—working toward a world where all people can access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom as they define it for themselves.