Bonta targets Modesto Pregnancy Center, City Schools over Sex Ed curriculum

The Modesto Pregnancy Center has provided sex education for Modesto schools for two decades. Now Rob Bonta is investigating the curriculum after receiving parent complaints.

The Modesto Pregnancy Center is under attack from California Attorney General Rob Bonta for its sex education curriculum it provides to Modesto City Schools. 

Bonta sent a letter to the Modesto Pregnancy Center, also known as Personal Health Now, on Monday requesting the organization to substantiate its claims that it provides sex education that complies with state law. 


The big picture: Bonta said Monday that his office has received parent complaints alleging that the Modesto Pregnancy Center’s sex education curriculum breaks the law. He did not specify any details from the complaints. 

  • The California Healthy Youth Act requires all sex education in public schools to be scientifically accurate and may not promote religious doctrine. 
  • Bonta demanded an answer from the center within 20 days, and he threatened legal action if the center does not show that it complies with the law. 

State of play: Sex education is required at least once in middle school and at least once in high school in California’s public schools. 

  • Per the Personal Health Now website, the center says it provides current and updated sex education programs for middle and high school students, as well as parental support for relating to children in today’s digital age and medically and scientifically accurate personal health information. 

The backstory: The Modesto Pregnancy Center formed its Community Education department in 1997 with the goal of decreasing unplanned pregnancies and reducing the number of STI and STD cases in Stanislaus County. 

  • Within a few years the Community Education team started to regularly visit middle schools and high schools, as well as other groups across Modesto and Stanislaus County. 

Bonta’s letter: Bonta sent the letter under California’s false advertising law, which gives him the authority to require an organization to substantiate any advertising claim. 

  • He requested all documents that the center has to substantiate its claim of compliance with state law and all sex education materials used in Modesto City Schools. 
  • Specifically, Bonta requested that the center substantiate that it provides medically and scientifically accurate personal health information, sex education that is aligned with California standards and that it shares information from credible and scientific sources in an unbiased way. 

What they’re saying: “Access to unbiased and comprehensive sexual education for students is not just a matter of choice; it is a fundamental necessity that builds a foundation of success for our children,” Bonta said in a statement. 

  • “As the People’s Attorney, I’m committed to empowering our youth with the knowledge and skills they need that is inclusive, evidence-based, and free from stigma or bias, and that will allow them to make informed decisions and lead fulfilling lives. Today’s letter underscores that commitment, and I demand that the Center provides evidence to support these claims.”
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