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New Tennessee law requires fetal development video in school

Meet Baby Olivia, fetal development video

Life Action | Fair Use via YouTube

J-P Mauro - published on 05/05/24

Students in counties that offer the Family Life curriculum will be required to watch a 3-minute video that shows how babies grow in the womb.

A new Tennessee state law will require school children to watch a three-minute video that shows the development of a baby from conception. The law, which was signed by Governor Bill Lee in April, will extend to most Tennessee counties as part of the Family Life curriculum. 

The Tennessean reports that the videos presented to students can be animated, computer generated, or video taken via high definition ultrasound. An example of a suitable video is one developed by the pro-life organization Live Action, titled Meet Baby Olivia, which is featured above. While it is not required to show this particular video, it meets all the requirements of the law, and is even the source of the name of the legislation: the Baby Olivia Act. 

The video follows the development of a baby from the moment of fertilization until the child is ready to be born. Each stage of development is beautifully and professionally animated, while a narrator explains what the baby is experiencing, such as the development of bones, fingers, toes, sight, and even the capacity to play. According to Live Action, the video was reviewed by accredited medical professionals, who have said the content is correct. 

Live Action wrote in the video’s description:

“With scientific accuracy, this video depicts the moment human life begins and beyond to show the humanity of preborn children throughout each stage of human development… From a single-celled human to a baby with a beating heart, brainwaves, fingers, and toes, Olivia shows the remarkable beauty of a unique life within the womb.”

The Tennessean notes that the video will not be required viewing in all Tennessee counties, because the Family Life curriculum is only offered in counties where teen pregnancy rate “exceeds 19.5 per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19.” While not every student in the state will see the video in school, a great many will, as it is estimated that 78 of Tennessee’s 95 counties do in fact exceed this rate in teen pregnancy. 

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