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Monday, June 6, 2011
CNS Columnist Baselessly Attacks Planned Parenthood

Part of's continuing attacks on Planned Parenthood is a June 2 column by anti-abortion activist Jim Sedlak, who bills himself as "a recognized expert on Planned Parenthood." Sedlak writes:

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.

In fact, the report doesn’t specifically credit or blame Planned Parenthood for this -- the "areas" in question are Germany, France and the Netherlands. Further, the report notes that religious authorities there have realistic attitudes toward sex. It also points out that these countries, which "expend less time and effort trying to prevent young people from having sex and more time and effort in educating and empowering young people to behave responsibly when they decide to have sex," have lower teen pregnancy, birth, abortion and STD rates, as well as a later average age of initial sexual activity, than the US. Sedlak doesn't mention that.

Sedlak also obscures the fact that the report goes out of its way to point out that disrespect for religious values is not the point:

This mixing of religion and public policy not only doesn’t exist in Germany, France and the Netherlands – it would not be tolerated. Public health policy is based upon research, not upon any one set of religious dictates.

This should not be interpreted as disregard or disrespect for religious values. The Dutch, German and French people consider the values of individual freedom and responsibility in sexual behavior extremely important. “In these countries, the morality of sexual behavior is weighed through an individual ethic that includes the values of responsibility, love, respect, tolerance and equity… The values that are incorporated into the individual ethic align well with the ethical teachings of Christianity and Judaism.” (Berne et al, 1999)

Still, Sedlak rants that "Taxpayers are actually giving Planned Parenthood over $300 million a year to seduce our children into sexual lifestyles – lives of sin." But refusing to tell the truth is a sin, too.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 AM EDT

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