Parents vs. Planned Parenthood
Outrage Grows Against Organization’s “Sex Ed” in Schools
by Jo Garcia-Cobb
Growing involvement in public schools on the part of Planned Parenthood has led to mounting grassroots opposition against the organization’s comprehensive sex education targeting K-12 students in public schools. “We’re seeing more and more concerned citizens going to their school boards and elected officials demanding that Planned Parenthood-type curriculum be dumped,” said Rita Diller, national director of American Life League’s Stop Planned Parenthood Project (STOPP). Diller monitors grassroots efforts for the pro-life organization. Parents in Onalaska, Wash., for instance, expressed outrage June 12 during a Fox News broadcast. They said their children were quiet, withdrawn and embarrassed to talk about what had happened in school the day before.
When Curtis and Jean Pannkuk began questioning their 11-year-old daughter, they discovered that the principal had given the fifth-graders graphic instruction regarding sexual behavior. “Our daughter didn’t want to go back to school. She cried all the way to school today,” said Curtis Pannkuk. James Gilliland was enraged that his daughter’s innocence was stripped from her. His wife, Kadra, said, “I was shocked because I trusted my little country school. I trusted my school — that’s the bottom line, and they crossed the line.” “It’s just the same as raping somebody, but you’re raping their innocence, instead of their physical being,” said Gilliland. “This curriculum has to go.”
The instruction was part of state-approved comprehensive sex education developed and pushed by Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, the Sexuality Education and Information Council of the United States (SEICUS), and a host of other organizations. The graphic sex-ed incident at Onalaska is neither isolated nor new. Planned Parenthood and cohorts have been giving comprehensive sex-education instruction in the public schools since the 1970s. John Pisciotta, a parent from Waco, Texas, who combats Planned Parenthood’s public-school agenda via his website ProLifeWaco.com, noted: “The label that PP gives to its ‘just do it’ approach to teen and pre-teen sex is ‘comprehensive sex education.’” Besides various Planned Parenthood programs now being taught in thousands of U.S. schools, Planned Parenthood’s contraceptive-based sex-ed program has been adopted by the National Assembly of School-Based Health Care. The assembly has a membership of 2,000 school-based health centers, initially called “school-based clinics,” nationwide.
“We’re seeing a shift in public awareness and action. There’s increased outrage and a sense of urgency,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League and author of Parent Power, a book about how to get Planned Parenthood out of the schools. The shift has in part been fueled by the American Life League-produced “Hooking Kids on Sex” video report, which contains graphic footage of Planned Parenthood-style instruction in the schools.
The sense of urgency comes from the fact that the Obama administration’s federal budget initially zeroed out all funding for abstinence-based programs and allocated more than $200 million of taxpayer money to implement K-12 comprehensive sex ed across the nation. Congress then voted to allocate a tiny fraction of the budget to abstinence programs. “The ratio is 16-1 between CSE (comprehensive sex ed) and abstinence,” said Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association.
Obamacare and Sex Ed
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a former division of Planned Parenthood, the Affordable Care Act includes “many billions of dollars in new funding for community health centers, which provide family-planning services and other basic reproductive health care to their clients, and establishes a dedicated $50-million yearly funding stream for school-based health centers, many of which provide contraceptive care to students in need.” Recently, a Salem Statesman Journal article highlighted Salem, Ore., parent Douglas Muravez’s battle against Planned Parenthood instruction at his child’s school. After learning that Planned Parenthood had signed a contract with North Salem High School and was already teaching its program at the school, Muravez sent several letters to the school board expressing his concern about hiring the nation’s largest abortion provider to teach the class. Muravez also requested a formal hearing with the school board. His request was denied. Muravez then distributed letters to fellow parishioners at St. Joseph Catholic Church seeking help “to save North Salem High School from Planned Parenthood.”
About two dozen community members pushed for a hearing, but only three board members agreed to it, not the required four needed to authorize a hearing. While the school superintendent promised to put a teacher at the helm next year to address Muravez’s concern, the school plans to retain Planned Parenthood’s Teen Outreach Program.
School officials, including Salem-Keizer School District Superintendent Sandy Husk, stand behind the Teen Outreach Program, despite moving to replace the Planned Parenthood instructors. “We feel strongly that this program, which was based on curriculum developed at the national level that aligns with standards set by the Oregon Department of Education, is an excellent option for our students,” Husk wrote in a letter to parents.
Liz Delapoer of the Planned Parenthood office overseeing the contract with the school district said that the program focuses on healthy relationships, decision-making and goal setting and includes a community service project. But Corinne Kelly, who went through Planned Parenthood’s curriculum at her alma mater, Ray High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, testified before city officials about the curriculum in 2008. “I would squeamishly sit in my seat through the representative’s lectures about rape, ovulation, birth control, how to put on a condom and spermicide,” said the 2010 graduate. “It was embarrassing because I had to sit there with all the girls and guys in the classroom. I was told it was okay to have ‘safe sex’ — that it was perfectly normal to do so; that I was responsible enough to make my own decisions, and, in case I ever slipped up, they would be there to help. I got the sense that they were somewhat expecting me to fail — that it was impossible to remain celibate for four years in a public high school with raging teenage hormones,” she said. “Well, I am happy to say that it is my third year of high school, and, recently, I have been able to help begin an abstinence club. … Why I am here today is because I did not want to witness any more of my friends hurt by a bad decision encouraged by Planned Parenthood.”
Copyright © 2012 National Catholic Register
Jo Garcia-Cobb writes from Mount Angel, Oregon