By Jim Sedlak
Anyone paying attention to events in Washington, DC and around the country has become acutely aware that thousands of people, and many elected officials, are very upset with the organization known as Planned Parenthood Federation of America—and its many nationwide affiliates. They are so upset that they are trying to cut off all taxpayer money to the group.
Americans are asking themselves, “Why? What is so terrible about this group that it could be such a polarizing catalyst?”
The simple answer that is given by the media and many in public life is abortion. On the surface, this has some validity. After all, Planned Parenthood does run the largest abortion chain in the nation—with 321 surgical and medical abortion facilities that committed 332,287 abortions in 2009. The fact that Planned Parenthood has committed over 5,000,000 abortions since 1970 also gives credence to the media answer. Yet, in reality, there is much more that has people angry.
In this commentary, we will analyze another aspect of Planned Parenthood that incurs the wrath of American citizens—citizens of all faiths and all political persuasions. That is Planned Parenthood’s advocacy of unmarried teenage sexual activity. I am not talking here of Planned Parenthood’s claim that it is helping already sexually active teens protect themselves from disease, but the actual encouragement of teen sexual activity by the organization.
The importance of this to Planned Parenthood was highlighted in a 2002 document, the Oregon Team Report. Planned Parenthood had sent a team of people from Oregon to Europe—particularly France, Germany and the Netherlands—to study what its affiliates had done there to successfully achieve the organization’s goals. The purpose of the trip was to identify what program or service was the foundation of the success.
Upon returning from the trip, the group filed a 71-page report, We Can Do Better: Oregon Team Report on Western Europe’s Successful Approaches to Adolescent Sexuality, which revealed that,
Success doesn’t really rest on programs and services alone. It is the societal thinking—the norms—that make the Dutch, German and French successes possible. It is the openness and the acceptance that young people will have intimate sexual relationships without being married and that these relationships are natural and contribute to maturing into a sexually healthy adult.
The fact that Planned Parenthood would think it a positive thing that children have sex is not surprising. As long ago as 1953, Dr. Lena Levine was handling sex education programs for Planned Parenthood and made the following statement concerning Planned Parenthood’s purpose and planned course of action:
…to be ready as educators and parents to help young people obtain sex satisfaction before marriage. By sanctioning sex before marriage we will prevent fear and guilt. We must also relieve those who have these … feelings, and we must be ready to provide young boys and girls with the best contraceptive measures available so they will have the necessary means to achieve sexual satisfaction without having to risk possible pregnancy. (“Psycho-Sexual Development,” quoted in Planned Parenthood News, Summer 1953, p. 10.)
It is this outright advocacy for unmarried teens having sex that is at the heart of many people’s opposition to Planned Parenthood.
Most people in the United States identify themselves as belonging to some religious faith. Every major religious denomination views minors having sex as prohibited activity—a sin. Thus, the fact that Planned Parenthood openly accepts and encourages this sinful activity is upsetting to parents and religious leaders everywhere.
When you add to that the fact that Planned Parenthood openly pushes “confidential services” for minors—assuring 11- and 12-year-olds that their parents will never know anything about their visit to Planned Parenthood—it serves only to increase the outrage.
Parents understand that Planned Parenthood is in the sex business—that it takes in millions of dollars from young people who have sex and not a penny from those who remain chaste. Parents see clearly that Planned Parenthood wants to lead their children into lives of sexual sin and away from their religious values and their families.
The Planned Parenthood Oregon Team Report referenced earlier documents that—in areas where Planned Parenthood is successful—churches and moral values lose. The document reports that church attendance among teens 15- to 19-years-old, in those areas, has fallen from 60-80 percent to 4-9 percent.
Is it any wonder that parents are alarmed?
On top of all of this, the American public finds out that the organization that is literally attacking their children and the family’s religion is doing it with their money! Taxpayers are actually giving Planned Parenthood over $300 million a year to seduce our children into sexual lifestyles—lives of sin.
The news media, and even Planned Parenthood itself, wants to make its public funding all about abortion. But it is not. It is about keeping Planned Parenthood away from our money and away from our children.
There is a clear message rising up across the land: Don’t mess with our children or our religion. Stop funding Planned Parenthood.
Jim Sedlak is vice president of American Life League and a recognized expert on Planned Parenthood. Jim is the author the book, Parent Power!! and appears on numerous local and national radio talk programs. In 1993, Jim was identified by Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) as one of the 15 “most active” fighters against PP sex education programs. Jim cofounded and was director of STOPP (Stop Planned Parenthood) from 1986 to 1994. He founded and was president of STOPP International from 1994 to 1998, when it merged into American Life League.