Right Opinion

Decking the Halls With Planned Parenthoods

Tony Perkins · Dec. 17, 2019

The last thing Planned Parenthood needs is more access to kids. So imagine parents’ reaction when they found out that the abortion group isn’t just visiting schools — it’s moving in! Thanks to a forced donation from taxpayers, Planned Parenthood is about to open 50 clinics inside Los Angeles schools, the biggest public education takeover of its kind. And maybe, the most controversial.

These “wellbeing centers,” as schools are calling them, are all part of a new model Planned Parenthood is hoping to replicate in other cities. And it’s easy to see why. With help from local districts, the abortion lobby doesn’t have to wait for teenagers to come to them. They can go directly to students — without parents ever finding out. For Planned Parenthood, who’s desperately trying to scrounge up new business, this is a dream come true. With the bottom falling out of the abortion market, these clinics can be the in-house pushers of early sex. Then, when the birth control they provide fails (as research shows it does), those same teenagers will magically translate into the next wave of abortion customers.

It’s genius, really. For Planned Parenthood, it’s a down payment on future business — with the bulk of the actual payment made by a city that doesn’t realize it’s been had. Los Angeles leaders think the $10 million they’re dumping into these centers will help them lower STDs and unexpected pregnancies. What they’re about to find out is that once you subsidize Planned Parenthood’s message of “sex and more of it,” the problems skyrocket. “We want to support their general well-being,” the city’s director of public health insisted.

If that were the case, schools wouldn’t be investing in an approach that even Obama’s CDC agreed was a failure. “More than 80 percent of teens in the [comprehensive sex ed] program fared either worse or no better than their peers who were not a part of the program.” They were more likely to begin having sex, more likely to engage in oral sex, and more likely to get pregnant. Teaching children how to engage in “safe sex” has not only failed, it’s had devastating consequences with STDs being at near-pandemic levels.

Encouraging abstinence, on the other hand, had the exact opposite effect. Not only was it the message kids wanted, but it created nothing but positive outcomes for the teens who practiced it. “The virginal students rate significantly and consistently better in nearly all health-related behaviors and measures than their sexually-active peers,” researchers discovered. That goes for everything from bike helmet and seat belt use to smoking, drugs, diet, exercise, and even tanning bed use.

Most kids feel enough pressure to have sex — they don’t want their high schools piling on. In fact, if someone bothered to ask students what they think, they’d find out that the lesson they want the most (according to 57 percent) is “how to say ‘no’ to sex without losing the relationship.” Unfortunately, not enough educators are listening. Instead, they’re putting the most dangerous abortion business in America right down the hallway from homeroom — with state-sponsored advice on everything from gender transitioning to sexual experimentation.

Kids can even leave a real exam for one of Planned Parenthood’s. “Students will be able to walk into the clinics or make appointments and will be allowed to leave class for them. Information about the appointments will be in protected medical files not accessible to school officials. Under California law, minors can consent to certain medical services, such as receiving birth control or mental health counseling, and health care providers are not allowed to inform a parent without the minor’s permission.” And naturally, as pro-lifers have come to expect from Planned Parenthood, they intentionally targeted these schools because “they are largely low-income.” Easier pickings for the Left’s radical sex and abortion messages.

Hinting at how secretive this whole process has been, Sue Dunlap, president of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, said she expected this to become “a healthy debate” as the news “becomes public.” By then, of course, the plan will be underway. Five of the centers are already up and running. The rest will be added over summer break. Obviously, city leaders knew there’d be backlash and didn’t have the stomach to go up against moms and dads publicly (especially not after the fierce battle over California's extreme new sex ed).

If there’s one thing that administrators, Planned Parenthood, and every other liberal is afraid of, it’s engaged parents. There’s a reason they’re hosting these hush-hush meetings and passing policies to keep moms and dads in the dark. They understand that the more you know, the harder you’ll fight. And in a world where the other side will do anything to get to our children, we need all the fighters we can get!

Originally published here.

Tired of Christians Being Harassed? Join the Club!

A school can’t pick and choose which students have rights — but that hasn’t stopped one New York district from trying! Once Daniela Barca wrote down that she was a Christian trying to start a club, her application was doomed. Roy C. Ketcham High School administrators didn’t care that there’s such a thing as the Equal Access Act. They didn’t care that there were 20 other clubs on campus. They only cared that Daniela had faith and might spread it.

“I feel like I’m the only [Christian] on campus,” Daniela wrote to school officials. And they did her best to make her feel even more alone, telling her the idea for a Christian club was too “exclusive.” Unfortunately for Ketcham High School, who hoped that would be the final word on the matter, Daniela wasn’t alone where it mattered: legal support. The Barcas contacted First Liberty Institute, who knew right away that this was anti-religious hostility.

Attorney Jeremy Dys helped tell the school what it told Daniela, “If a school district recognizes one student club, it’s not allowed to say that that religious club cannot join or enjoy the benefits of all the other clubs as well.” That’s a violation of federal law. “Back in 1984,” Jeremy explained on “Washington Watch,” “Congress passed the Equal Access Act — and it said… that if the school district is going to have clubs on campus, that it can do so. That’s perfectly permissible under the Constitution. But what it cannot do is open up those student-run clubs to just the clubs that they favor the speech of. So if you’re having, for instance, a Gay-Straight Alliance Club on campus, it would be impermissible to say then that a Christian club could not enjoy the same benefits that that club enjoys.”

That law, Jeremy and company reminded the New York school district in a formal letter, has never been overturned. Roy Ketcham High can’t support an LGBT club and then turn around and discriminate against Daniela. That’s a very “bright-line violation” of a 35-year-old law. Of course, as First Liberty’s Keisha Russell reminds them, this isn’t Wappingers Central School District first rodeo when it comes to viewpoint harassment. “[T]here is reason to believe this violation is systematic, leading to years of disregard for the Equal Access Act,” she wrote.

At first, the school board was going to meet to discuss Daniela’s case. Turns out, there wasn’t much to discuss. Yesterday, First Liberty announced the school had already reversed the decision. Obviously, they knew what most of us already did: religious hostility doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on. But, Jeremy explained, “This is a good reminder to students everywhere that you have these rights. In fact, the Department of Education has — for years — sent letters to all the school districts around the country to remind them of their responsibilities when it comes to the Equal Access Act. And so I suspect that [this is] something that school districts need to take more seriously.”

If you’re a student or parent who’s been on the wrong end of the free speech debate in school, check out First Liberty’s guide on exercising your legal rights. What you don’t know can hurt you.

Originally published here.

Posing as an 11-Year-Old Online: The Scary Things One Mom Learned

“When parents think about predators, they think about someone tossing their kid in a trunk and driving off. They don’t think about the unseen abuse that happens online,” Sloane Ryan lamented at the table where they were working. “What if we just set up fake accounts ourselves to demonstrate to parents what can happen online?” her friend, Brian, asked. “I raised both eyebrows at the idea. Waited a beat to see if he was joking. He wasn’t.”

That was how one 37-year-old mom embarked on a months-long journey to show parents the dangerous and deadly place the internet was becoming for kids. They came across a “a particularly harrowing case” of an online predator who’d abused a 12-year-old girl in middle school. This man was “grooming her,” as they call it, through her school email account, “coercing her to send videos of herself performing sexual acts. We knew people like him were out there, but it floored us to see how quickly and deftly he was able to manipulate this child.” Together, they resolved to stop it.

Sloane started posing — as 15-year-old Libby and 16-year-old Kait and 14-year-old Ava. “I’ve been a studious sophomore contemplating bangs and a lacrosse player being raised by her aunt and an excitable junior eager for prom,” she writes. But it’s the 11-year-old she pretended to be — and the men who came after her — that sickens her most. She describes uploading the picture on Instagram and waiting quietly with the team in the room for what she knows will follow.

“This part never takes long. It’s always unnervingly fast… Two new messages came in under a minute after publishing a photo. We sat mouths agape as the numbers pinged up on the screen — two, three, seven, 15 messages from adult men over the course of two hours. Half of them could be charged with transfer of obscene content to a minor.” She describes sitting with her head in her hands. “Nine months of this, and we still continue to be stunned by the breadth of cruelty and perversion we see. I imagine this trend will continue tonight.”

The “we” is Bark, a company tracking — at least in this case — targeting by sexual predators. In 2018, Sloane explains, the organization worked with law enforcement to report 99 predators to the FBI. This year, it’s triple that. “Each of these cases,” she explains, “represents a real child experiencing real harm, and our challenge is to help parents and schools understand this new reality. But how do we tell stories without asking families to divulge too much? How do we explain online grooming to a generation who didn’t grow up with this danger? Numbers, though informative, are abstract and easy to gloss over.”

These responses, she knows as a mom, are impossible to ignore. Suddenly, men are flooding the new “11-year-old’s” account, asking for “sexy pictures” or talking a lot more explicitly — so explicitly, in fact, that most parents would be nauseated just reading the texts. She takes video calls, posing in a dark room, text chats, fields requests for nude pictures. “‘Baby.’ they keep calling her ‘baby’ without an ounce of irony.” In that one week, 52 men contacted “Bailey.” “We sit with that stat as we soberly shut down the TV and the camcorder,” she writes, and get ready to send compile the information for their law enforcement contacts.

“The work — while not necessarily physical — is emotionally taxing," Sloane writes. "Most of us on the team have kids, some of them the same age as the personas I play. It hits too close to home, but you don’t have to be a parent to be devastated by the predation of society’s most vulnerable.” The payoff, she explains, is knowing more moms and dads will read about her work and understand the “brutal reality” — that “a predator doesn’t have to be in the same room, building, or even country to abuse a child.” She thinks about her kids and her coworkers’ kids. “About my own self decades ago as a young, uncertain, impressionable tween and then teen… How I would have been a silent victim. How I don’t want that for any other kid — my own or anyone else’s.”

Evil isn’t passive. It doesn’t stand still. Scripture talks about the devil walking about as a “roaring lion… seeking whom he may devour.” And if evil isn’t passive, parents can’t afford to be. At Christmas, especially, when moms and dads are out buying tablets and laptops and cell phones, it’s so important that we recognize the world that’s at our children’s fingertips. It’s a world filled with possibilities, certainly — but it’s a doorway to danger too.

At home, Sloane’s daughter asks her about a saying she’s reading. “‘Mom,’ she looks at me, pencil poised in the air, ‘Do you agree that ignorance is bliss?’ I rinse my hands off and dry them with a dishtowel… ‘No, honey. I don’t agree with that,’ I say resolutely, pulling up a chair next to her. ‘Knowledge is a gift,’ she says.” And in the hands of parents like her, that gift just might save a little girl’s life. Take the time to understand the social media world, parental controls, and how to protect your children. Start by reading Sloane’s story. Then check out FRC’s blog post, “How to Talk to Kids about Pornography: Three Easy Steps.”

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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