FRANKFORT, Ky. — A bill in the Kentucky House would make schools play a video of at least three minutes showing the development of the brain, heart and other organs. House Bill 346 is named the "Baby Olivia" Act after a video that depicts life development from fertilization to birth.

What You Need To Know

  • House Bill 346 or the "Baby Olivia" Act would require schools to show a video of at least three minutes showing the development of the brain, heart and other organs

  • The bill is named after a video produced by anti-abortion nonprofit Live Action

  • Sponsors believe the "Baby Olivia" video and others would better educate students about human development and reproduction

  • HB 346 does not say schools have to show "Baby Olivia" or any specific video

The "Baby Olivia" video is produced by anti-abortion nonprofit, Live Action.

Supporters say videos like this one would better inform Kentucky sixth through 12th-graders about human development, but opponents argue it is scientifically inaccurate and misleading.

HB 346 would require middle and high schools to adopt a health curriculum. The instruction would include a presentation of an at least three-minute high-definition ultrasound video and computer-generated animations showing the stages of human development inside the womb.

State Rep. Nancy Tate, R-Brandenburg, said videos like "Baby Olivia" would help educate students about human development.

“This bill acknowledges that the item in the womb is and was a baby even before week 11, when it is medically referred to as a fetus,” Tate said.

Tate said parents would have to opt-in to their children viewing the material. Parents would get a two-week notice before the materials would be learned in class, with a chance to view it themselves.

She added her intent with the bill is expanding students' understanding of human development in an “age-appropriate” manner.

“This is not supposed to take place of the sexual education that should be or could be taught in the schools or abstinence that is already being taught in the school," Tate said. "The thought is they would all work together."

However, the bill faces several opponents such as Louisville pediatrician Miranda Bencomo, who said the video is based on faith beliefs even if it is somewhat accurate. 

“I think that it targets a specific aspect of growth and development that, to put quite frankly, puts the cart before the horse,” Bencomo said.

The "Baby Olivia" video argues life begins at conception. Bencomo said this a philosophical, faith-based view that is “inappropriate” to be shown in a public school.

“While I think that is a valuable belief that is held by some faith groups and should be a conversation parents have with their children, I don’t think it is a valuable conversation to have in public schools because it is not a universally held assumption,” Bencomo said.

The bill does not say schools are required to show "Baby Olivia" or any specific presentation on human development. State Rep. Kim Moser, R-Taylor Mill, who is the Health Services Committee chair, said the bill is just a starting point for expanding reproductive health education.

"This is very general; this is not even scientific ... as a former neonatal intensive care nurse for nearly 20 years," she said. 

The "Baby Olivia" Act passed the Health Services Committee 14-4 along party lines and will be voted on by the full House.

States such as Iowa, Missouri and West Virginia have similar proposed bills, which would require public school students to watch "Baby Olivia" or other similar videos.