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FL Republican Admits His Bill Would Ban Girls From Discussing Their Periods In School

Florida State Rep. Stan McClain admitted his sex ed bill would 'prohibit conversations about menstrual cycles.'

Twitter screenshot of Stan McClain; Twitter screenshot of Ashley Viola Gantt

Republican Stan McClain of Florida—who serves in the state's House of Representatives—is facing heavy criticism after he confirmed in a committee hearing earlier this week his proposal to restrict sex education would ban girls from discussing their menstrual cycles at school.

House Bill 1069 seeks to ban education on sexually transmitted diseases, health education, and human sexuality for students earlier than sixth grade.

When asked by his colleague, Democrat Ashley Viola Gantt, whether his proposed legislation would "prohibit conversations about menstrual cycles," McClain confirmed it would.

You can see their interaction in the video below.

Gantt asked:

“Does this bill prohibit conversations about menstrual cycles―because we know that typically the ages is between 10 and 15―so if little girls experience their menstrual cycle in fifth grade or fourth grade, will that prohibit conversations from them since they are in the grade lower than sixth grade?”

McClain simply responded "It would" before Gantt later requested clarification about whether teachers will be penalized if their students come to them with issues or ask them questions regarding their periods.

McClain said that “would not be the intent of the bill" but added he would be "amenable" to any amendments to allow students to speak to their instructors without fear of any potential penalties.

The bill later passed the Republican-controlled subcommittee in a 13-5 vote along party lines.

McClain's admission prompted many to call him out for what they characterized as a misogynistic attack against public education.

McClain's bill is only the latest to target women's bodies in the months since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion and kicked off a wave of GOP legislation nationwide targeting reproductive freedom.

Last month, Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin came under fire after blocking a Democratic measure to keep law enforcement from accessing menstrual data in search warrants.

Youngkin's move came after the state's Democratic-led Senate passed a measure that "would have banned search warrants for menstrual data stored in tracking apps on mobile phones or other electronic devices" according to The Guardian, which noted the measure was supported by half of the chamber's Republicans.

Despite the bill's clear bipartisan support, Youngkin employed a procedural move in a subcommittee of the Republican-controlled House to kill the legislation.

Youngkin's move came just a week after the Florida High School Athletic Association's board of directors caved and voted 14-2 to remove questions about the menstrual cycles of high school athletes from a health form required for them to participate in school sports.