In Florida, where Republicans recently introduced a highly controversial bill that could ban education about the menstrual cycle for girls, preventing them from discussing it with their teachers, an elected official from that state acknowledged this week.
During an education committee session in the Florida Legislature, Democrat-elect Ashley Kant questioned fellow Republican Stan McClain about her bill. 11 to 12 years old.
“Does this bill ban conversations about menstrual cycles?” asked Ashley Gantt. If the girls are younger than the prescribed age, “does that bar discussions on their part?”
“Yes, it will,” replied Stan McClain.
Most girls get their first period between the ages of 12 and 13, but some may have it years earlier, according to the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“Imagine a little girl (…) going to the toilet, finding blood in her underwear and thinking she’s going to die”, offended Ashley Kant. “Not even his teacher can tell that it’s part of life.”
Stan McClain later clarified that the intent of the bill was not to punish young women for asking questions of their teachers, and that it was open to amendments, according to several US media outlets.
The governor of this southern US state, Ron DeSantis, is openly flirting with a 2024 presidential bid and has vowed to make his state a laboratory for conservative ideas.
At the beginning of the month, he presented a series of measures aimed at, for example, access to treatment for transgender people or access to abortion.
Schools should provide “quality education”, not “political indoctrination”, he said.
The 44-year-old Republican, who holds majorities in both houses of the Florida Legislature, has a good chance of being accepted given the enormous influence the 44-year-old enjoys in his party.