NDSU & Planned Parenthood Partnership
Response to April 2nd Forum Article
The article’s opening paragraph sets the tone for the entire article, setting up the issue as an “attack on women and families”. Not only is this premise inaccurate and disingenuous, it mocks the integrity of women and wonderful purpose of family.
For all the talking points ‘sound bites’ sprinkled throughout the article, it fails to mention the real purpose of the program—to inform teenagers of their options; before, during, and after they have had sex outside of a married relationship. For according to the ‘comprehensive sex education’ taught by Planned Parenthood, a partner in the program, it is a given teenagers will have sex and we need to focus on eliminating the unwanted pregnancy. The unborn baby becomes the problem, an obstacle which needs to be eliminated.
The program’s clientele is identified as “at risk Fargo teens”. “At risk” of what? At risk of not hearing that family planning is really about when having sex, try to protect yourself from disease and an unwanted pregnancy by wearing a condom, and if a pregnancy occurs—eliminate the problem by way of abortion. Is this really what our ‘at risk’ teens need to hear? And then to add insult to injury, the program’s strategy is to disseminate the program’s indoctrination to the ‘at risk’ teen’s peers.
The article ridicules the legislature for trying to meddle in affairs they don’t know anything about, especially without a public hearing. It was ironic that as news broke of this program partnering with Planned Parenthood, there was no ‘hearing’ responding to the public. Pres. Bresciani’s only consideration was if it was legal, not whether it was the right thing to do. And now that the legislature would clarify the legality by passing legislation, the cry is “how dangerous” and how “incredibly unusual”.
Yes it is “incredibly unusual” that a university program would reach down to 15 year olds to indoctrinate a vulnerable, at risk group. Should it be “incredibly unusual” that “politicians”, whom we would call the public policy decision makers, would have an interest in the well-being of our children. In 2011, the issue was debated in detail and the legislature passed an abstinence bill to be implemented in public and private schools.
The article criticizes legislative involvement, touting it should be left to “health professionals”, with no guidance short of a “family planning model” from Planned Parenthood. Should we should trust Planned Parenthood rather than the collective legislative wisdom of those representing the people?
The North Dakota Century Code clearly gives preference to life versus abortion and to abstinence education. North Dakota law and the program planned at NDSU in partnership with Planned Parenthood are in direct conflict. Legislators need to set the policy direction.
NDSU & Planned Parenthood
Not a Good Idea for North Dakota, Especially Women
There has been resistance this week by both professors at NDSU and the legislature relating to the amendment proposed to end a sex education program that is a partnership between NDSU and Planned Parenthood. A 1.2 million dollar federal grant was given to NDSU to begin a Planned Parenthood program for at-risk teens. Those who oppose the amendment argue that the program could prevent the need for abortion.
After the passage of several life bills this month, it is clear that North Dakotans do not see a need for abortion and that we believe it is morally wrong to end life. The partnership between NDSU and Planned Parenthood is of the state’s interests because it contradicts the values of the majority of North Dakotans by partnering with an organization that performs abortions.
Abortion has ended the lives of about 305,000 babies so far this year alone in the United States. Does Planned Parenthood really seek to prevent abortion when only 1 adoption is referred per 392 abortions performed? There are crisis pregnancy centers in almost every major city across the state that can already help women with unplanned pregnancies that seek life affirming alternatives. There is no need for a Planned Parenthood Program.
The partnership between NDSU and Planned Parenthood could be in response to the 2011 bill that enacted abstinence-only education in public schools. The fact is that at-risk teens do have access to sex education at school, but this is a way for Planned Parenthood to get their message of contraception, sexual health, abortion, and advocacy for sexual activity, to minors. The language of Planned Parenthood about abstinence reads,
People may find it difficult to abstain for long periods of time and may end their period of abstinence without being prepared to protect themselves against pregnancy or infection… Most people stop being abstinent at some point in their lives.”
This language attacks abstinence education because it assumes that abstinence will be ended. It also implies that pregnancy is like a disease because it is both paired with disease and stresses the importance of prevention. This language is also appealing to younger generations who are easily convinced by arguments that persuade through peer pressure and the difficulty of alternatives. Other language used by Planned Parenthood includes, “You can only do what’s best for you” and that language creates a selfish mindset that dismisses the needs of an unborn child. Planned Parenthood wants to bring this message to not only teens, but teens who most likely don’t have parents or absent parents. The program responds to the breakdown of the family in a way that destroys future families.
Planned Parenthood would not only be harmful to these vulnerable teens, but to women. Abortion is 4 times deadlier than a mother carrying to term (Elliot Institute, 2000) and abortion can also cause infertility (Danforth, 1993). There is a risk for emotional trauma that has been termed PAS (post abortion syndrome) that increases the threat for relationship difficulties, future abortions, suicide, and substance abuse (Rue, Speckhard, Rogers, & Franz 1987). As medical doctor Wanda Franz explained to US Congress in 1989, “They feel worthless, and victimized because they failed at the most natural of human activities – the role of being a mother”. Feminism should value all human life from male to female, and from conception until death. Doing otherwise would be hypocritical.
One thing is clear; North Dakota has an interest in protecting its citizens. We must protect vulnerable teens from the message of abortion Planned Parenthood advocates and we must protect women from the harmful effects of abortive procedures. The future of North Dakota and our families depends on these protections.