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Height of arrogance

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003

In July, the Empire reported that Planned Parenthood had opened a Juneau office. The group's director said its goal was to "visit middle school and high school classes in Juneau to present age-appropriate and medically accurate information on sexual development, healthy relationships, methods of birth control, sexually transmitted infections and teaching strategies for sexual health curricula."

There is no question that Planned Parenthood is a social activist and highly political organization - with a stated goal of presenting its views in Juneau's middle schools and high school.

Juneau School District has a clear duty to inform parents as to if, when and how it plans to offer Planned Parenthood a forum within Juneau's public schools - and if it does, what it plans to do to present an opposing viewpoint in an equal manner.

On its Web site, Planned Parenthood states its belief that students have the right to contraception as well as abortion without parental permission. Under the page for teens, under "Ask Dr. Cullins," Planned Parenthood says: "Unfortunately, not all young people can trust their parents to be helpful," and, "Planned Parenthood believes that confidential health care is a public health necessity - for the young as well as for adults."

Many Juneau parents agree, apparently, that their children cannot trust them and that's their right. And certainly they can allow Planned Parenthood carte blanche to intervene with their children's health decisions should they choose to do so. Planned Parenthood, however, does not have the right to make decisions for those parents who choose to retain responsibility and a trust relationship for their own children. To claim the right to make these decisions to others is the height of arrogance.

It's for this reason the Juneau School District has an obligation to inform parents of whatever propaganda Planned Parenthood has planned for students and their parents this school term. And parents who do not agree with Planned Parenthood's social views will be wise to, when it comes to JSD, "trust, but verify."

Richard Schmitz

Juneau



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