A number of European Parliament politicians attacked Poland’s sex education bill on Monday, claiming it was an attack on sexual education in the country.
But the bill had strong defenders. MEP Patryk Jaki, a member of Poland’s Law and Justice party (PiS), said other European Parliament politicians simply have not read the bill and are repeating false information designed to damage Poland’s government.
During the debate in Strasbourg, PiS politicians also underlined that the bill actually stemmed from a citizens’ initiative, which required the signatures of 100,000 Polish citizens before being sent to parliament for a vote. Furthermore, the bill is explicitly designed to combat pedophilia and will not hamper traditional sexual education in schools, which typically focuses on human anatomy, sexual disease prevention and human biology.
For educators who teach sexual education, this bill will have no impact on them. The law is instead aimed to discourage activists, regardless of whether they are educators, from actively encouraging sex for underage minors.
“Once again I must defend Poland against false information because supposedly you can go to jail for ‘sex education’ in our country,” Jaki wrote on Twitter.
Znów muszę bronić Polski przed nieprawdziwymi informacjami jakoby w naszym kraju za „edukacje seksualną” posyłano do więzienia. pic.twitter.com/AVKtX8QfgO
— Patryk Jaki (@PatrykJaki) 21 October 2019
The MEP quoted the first paragraph of the bill, in which it is written that “whoever publicly promotes or endorses behaviors of a pedophilic nature, may be fined, their freedom may be restricted or they may be imprisoned for up to two years.”
Jaki explained that this clearly is not “criminalizing education” but a ban on propagating pedophilia, which he pointed out, was also seen in penal codes for a majority of EU states.
TVP journalist Samuel Pereira shared a video on Twitter in which the leftist Polish opposition leader Robert Biedroń claimed during the debate that “the Law and Justice government introduced an amendment to the project on last Wednesday concerning penalizing sexual education.”
Pereira mocked Biedroń for misinterpreting both the contents of the bill as well as not distinguishing between a government and citizens’ initiative.
“Forget about you calling for a bill punishing pedophiles a penalization of sex education. Mr. MEP, is it possible that you can distinguish between a government and citizen-led project? And if you can, then why are you misleading the European Parliament?”
Już pal sześć że karanie pedofilii nazywa Pan penalizacją edukacji seksualnej…
Panie europośle @RobertBiedron, czy to możliwe że nie odróżnia Pan projektu rządowego od projektu obywatelskiego?
A jeśli Pan odróżnia, to dlaczego wprowadził Pan Parlament Europejski w błąd? pic.twitter.com/0wYzvXTmHJ
— Samuel Pereira (@SamPereira_) 22 October 2019