LOS ANGELES — When officials from the County of Los Angeles announced a new program to staff “Well-Being Centers” on 50 high-school campuses with Planned Parenthood employees, they noted that the “full range of sexual services” provided to students at these centers will be completely confidential.
Thanks to Title X, students as young as 12 years old can already legally access Planned Parenthood’s services without their parents’ knowledge. But inserting Planned Parenthood in public-school campuses, and allowing students to leave class to visit these centers, is a dangerous further step toward cutting parents out of their children’s lives, concerned observers warn.
“One of the things that Planned Parenthood always said when I was training them is that parents are a barrier to service,” Monica Leal Cline, the executive director of It Takes a Family, told the Register. “They recognize that a parent will naturally want to protect their child and keep them from an environment that would put them into danger.
“They are aware that when a parent knows that a child is accessing services at a Planned Parenthood, they are going to stop that and then start to educate the child themselves, which means Planned Parenthood loses a customer. So they don’t want the parent to be involved.”
Cline spent 10 years working with Planned Parenthood as a sex educator. She started doing street outreach as an HIV prevention educator after being trained by Planned Parenthood on how to reach teenagers and eventually went on to be a Title X training manager for all of Texas and New Mexico. She worked for a company that provided government-mandated trainings for clinics receiving Title X funding, including Planned Parenthood, and spent a lot of time training Planned Parenthood employees.
Cline had a religious conversion 10 years ago and founded It Takes a Family to “equip and strengthen parents to reclaim parenthood and become their children’s greatest advocates and educators.”
In the Los Angeles Health Department’s press release about the new centers last month, Sue Dunlap, CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, highlighted the secrecy possible when students can get to Planned Parenthood at school and don’t have to explain to anyone, even their parents, where they went. She said that when students leave campus, it “means time away from class, money for transportation, and explaining your whereabouts to others, all hurdles that loom large for teens.”
In contrast, when Planned Parenthood is installed on a campus, parents never need to be informed that their child is accessing sexual services.
‘Cycle of Hopelessness’
Another boon for Planned Parenthood, and blow to parents’ rights, is California’s Healthy Youth Act (HYA), which came into effect in 2016 and mandates comprehensive sex education for public middle- and high-schoolers and encourages sex education beginning in kindergarten. In accord with the HYA, the California Department of Education K-12 curriculum guidelines include, for example, suggestions that first-grade students write reports on a book that describes the sexual act and that teachers of fourth- to sixth-grade students use another book that encourages masturbation in order to “initiate dialogue for the group chats.”
“If a child believes and follows everything that they are being taught through graphic sex education in California, then they will naturally have a need for condoms, lubrication, hormonal contraception, STI testing and treatment and abortion,” Cline said about how the HYA benefits Planned Parenthood. “It is the perfect sales tools to have a lifelong customer. That’s the hopelessness that they are selling.”
“The only hope of comprehensive sex education is this: become sexually active,” Cline said. “That is the expectation. Get comfortable with the fact that you will get a disease, but you can lessen the chance of it by using condoms and lubrication. And when that doesn't work, you can get tested. And then you get treated. And when you have an unplanned pregnancy, you get an abortion. Then you just continue on that cycle your whole life. It’s a cycle of hopelessness for our children that is destroying them emotionally and physically.”
Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, the executive director of Los Angeles Pregnancy Services and a speaker for the VIDA Initiative, has, like Cline, seen how Planned Parenthood encourages sexual activity among students.
“I was a Planned Parenthood volunteer in college when they recruited me for an AIDS-prevention program,” Gutierrez said. “I got to see how they work to break down modesty and the values most parents want to transmit to their children. The topic of sex is treated in an utterly disrespectful way. The message of chastity as an alternative would have no place in the atmosphere they create.”
“It has never been the intention to stop school-age children from having sex,” Cline agreed. “It has always been the intention to just teach them how to do it ‘safer.’ Comprehensive sex education and Planned Parenthood are all about meeting school-age children where they’re at and leaving them there. They believe our children are sexual from birth, which is why we see Planned Parenthood — and anyone who supports comprehensive sex education — hypersexualizing children even in elementary school.”
Cline also noted the health department’s announcement that Planned Parenthood will train students to reach their peers.
“Not only will the children be exposed to graphic sex education that only sets up the expectation for becoming sexually active and normalizing STIs and all of that,” she said, “but they’re also going to train those school-age children to teach graphic sex education to each other.”
Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department did not respond to requests for comment about the health-centers initiative.
Student and Parent Concerns
Frida Plata, who attends Gahr High School in southeast Los Angeles, is committed to fighting back against Planned Parenthood’s promotion of contraception and abortion.
“At school I’ve had debates with teachers and students on the topic of abortion,” she said. “The fact that Planned Parenthood is trying to go into high schools is really devastating.”
Plata said she knows multiple girls from her high school who have had abortions. Four years ago, Plata gave information about Rachel’s Vineyard post-abortion healing retreats to a middle-school classmate who had had an abortion and regretted it.
What if Planned Parenthood comes into Plata’s school?
“I’m definitely going to take action and go around handing out flyers and informing students about the truth of what happens behind the doors of Planned Parenthood and what their true evil plans are. I would organize marches. I would do anything that is possible for Planned Parenthood not to be in my school.”
Although parents have a legal right to have their children excused from instruction that “conflicts with the[ir] religious training and beliefs,” the onus is on parents to obtain the instructional materials from their children’s schools, review them and submit a written request to have their children excused from the objectionable classes.
Gutierrez, a Los Angeles native, has worked for almost 20 years with the families being targeted by the new Los Angeles County program and speaks to thousands of parents every year in Los Angeles-area churches.
“Few parents are aware of Planned Parenthood’s agenda to indoctrinate their children into embracing abortion and contraception as a good, and as inevitable, and to break down their innocence at an early age,” Gutierrez said. “They are also unaware of the many ways Planned Parenthood attempts to usurp their role as parents.
“Through the ‘well-being centers,’ Planned Parenthood is attempting to be the primary confidante when it comes to questions about sexuality. In my presentations, I seek to equip parents to assume their God-given role as the primary educators of their children. Parents must send a clear message to Planned Parenthood that they are not welcome in their schools and communities.”
“I’m scared,” said Lucy Koes, whose son will start Alhambra High School in the fall. “My job is to protect my child at any cost, and they are taking that from me. That’s my concern with my son going off to public high school. I’m already trying to talk to him, trying to get the message across: Just be careful what they’re presenting to you.”
“The unfortunate thing is they’re only presenting one side,” Koes said about the HYA curriculum. “I just remember in high school the same thing when they had sex education. It was: You’re going to do it. They never once brought up abstinence and self-control. I remember feeling so disrespected and thinking, ‘Give me all the information so I can make a proper decision.’ But they’re controlling what information you’re given, so they control what you do.”
“I'm sure there are other parents in the same situation who don’t have a choice but to send them to public school,” Koes said. “We’re basically going to lose our children. I have sleepless nights over that and just a lot of prayer: Lord, help me here.”
“It’s pretty scary,” Cline said, regarding Planned Parenthood’s sexualization of children. “And the only way they can make it happen is to keep parents ignorant and to ensure that they have like-minded legislators and decision-makers that will help pass it, regardless of how parents feel about it.”
Saving Lives and Souls
Gutierrez believes parents’ influence can save lives.
“Just last night, I saw a young woman who I had counseled some years ago when she found out she was pregnant at the age of 18,” Gutierrez said. “At first she thought about abortion, and she understood how easy it was to get one, due to the pro-choice sex education at her school, but she thought about her parents and the values they had taught her, and she decided instead to speak to her priest about her excruciating dilemma. He referred her and her mom to Los Angeles Pregnancy Services. Last night she was radiant with joy and gratitude, and I got to shake the hand of a beautiful 5-year-old boy who she says is the light of her life.”
“It is more important than ever for parents to pray and fast for their children and to take seriously and actively their role as primary educators — especially in the area of chastity,” Gutierrez said. “And they must remain vigilant regarding Planned Parenthood and their insidious, taxpayer-funded programs to ensnare the lives and souls of their children.”
Register correspondent Mary Rose Short writes from Southern California.