A seventh-grade California teacher who showed anti-abortion videos in class is now under investigation by the Sacramento City Unified School District.
One of the videos, narrated by physician and anti-abortion activist Anthony Levatino, outlines the process for performing abortions and ask viewers to “protect the pre-born.” The teacher also showed the class a video of rapper Nick Cannon thanking his mother for refusing to abort him.
The district launched the investigation after parents complained that their children watched the videos in class earlier this month, the Sacramento Bee reported.
A former abortionist who turned pro-life, Levatino has made at least two videos with the pro-life group Live Action. In the videos, he describes how abortions are performed in the first and second trimesters. It’s unclear which of the videos were shown in the class, the Bee reported.
Why did he change?
Levatino performed “hundreds of abortions” before his adopted daughter was tragically struck and killed by a car near their home, according to published reports.
"I looked at the remains of a pre-born child whose life I had ended, and all I could see was someone's son or daughter," Levatino said of his conversion.
A school district spokesman told the Bee his videos are not classroom-appropriate and do not "meet the district's approved family life and sexuality curriculum."
District policies outline how to discuss controversial topics in the classroom, but do not specifically address the topic of abortion, the report states.
The district plans to “address this matter with the seriousness it demands," spokesman Alex Barrios told the Bee.
What are people saying?
The Bee reported:
"We all know that the subject of abortion is sensitive, complex and controversial, and I personally don't think it belongs as a topic to go into in any depth in a seventh-grade class," said one anonymous mother. Abortion "requires a thoughtful, nuanced discussion," she added.
The district requires that sex education curriculum helps students “understand the biological, psychological, social, moral and ethical aspects of human sexuality and shall comply with the requirements of law and administrative regulation,” according to the report.
Lila Rose, Live Action founder and president, defended the action by noting that teenagers can easily receive abortions in California. She added that the videos are medically accurate.
Rose told the Bee:
"Tens of thousands of teen girls have abortions every year in America, and they deserve the information about fetal development, what happens during an abortion procedure, and its risks. How can students understand the biological, moral, and ethical aspects of abortion without knowing what the abortion procedure entails for both the developing child and mother?
“These videos were designed to be teacher aids and are medically accurate, created in consultation with a group of doctors and experts, and have been viewed online nearly 100 million times. The abortion procedure series are medical animations, not graphic footage, and accurately depict the most prevalent abortion procedures in a format suitable for teens."