- A proposed bill in Florida limits sexual health education to grades six through twelve.
- The lawmaker who proposed the bill conceded it would ban younger girls from discussing periods.
- A Democratic lawmaker pointed out girls typically get their periods from ages 10 to 15.
A bill backed by Republicans in Florida would ban girls younger than grade six from discussing their periods while at school, according to the lawmaker who proposed the legislation.
State Rep. Stan McClain proposed House Bill 1069, which would limit instruction on sexual and reproductive health to grades six through 12. The bill is part of a string of laws being pushed by Florida Republicans related to gender and sexuality.
In a subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Democratic state Rep. Ashley Gantt asked McClain if the bill would “prohibit conversations about menstrual cycles” for girls who get their periods before sixth grade, noting girls typically start menstruating from ages 10 to 15, which would include fourth and fifth graders.
McClain responded: “It would.”
—Florida Planned Parenthood Action (@PPactionFL) March 15, 2023
Representatives for McClain and Gantt did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment on Friday evening.
McClain later said that banning young girls from talking about their periods “would not be the intent of the bill” and that he would be open to a potential amendment, according to The Washington Post.
The bill ended up passing the subcommittee, with members voting along party lines. Republicans currently have supermajorities in the Florida House and Senate, and Gov. Ron DeSantis has generally been supportive of the recent wave of bills related to gender.
Gantt told the Post she thought the bill was “egregious,” adding: “I thought it was pretty remarkable that the beginning of a little girl’s menstrual cycle was not contemplated as they drafted this bill.”