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Middle School Students Visit Planned Parenthood

JBS | June 15, 2007
Ann Shibler

The Manchester, New Hampshire school board is investigating the circumstances of a field trip in which 41 middle school students were taken to visit a Planned Parenthood clinic during regular school hours after they came under fire for the trip.

Follow this link to the original source: " New Hampshire Middle School Children Take Field Trip to Planned Parenthood Abortuary? "

New Hampshire middle school students involved in the YMCA's STAY program (for Support, Tutoring, Adventure for Youth) were taken on a field trip on June 6 where, among other places, they visited a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. Organizers of the field trip failed to notify parents about the trip's itinerary, nor were parental permission slips requested or signed.

Organizers feigned ignorance. YMCA President Hal Jordan said he knew that the children would be taken to various social service agencies that provide summer programs, but denied knowing that the Planned Parenthood clinic was one of the stops.

The principal of the middle school, Dawn Michaud, knew about the trip beforehand, but described it as more of a "job fair," and told her supervisors she had no prior knowledge of the stop at the Planned Parenthood facility.

Joyce Palmer, the YMCA's community outreach director, defended the trip with a disclaimer: "The intent was not to take kids to an abortion clinic. That word was never said," Palmer claimed.

Anne Johnson, the Planned Parenthood staff member who spoke to the children said abortion was never discussed, only "the array of services that we offer, 96 percent of which are prevention."

According to Planned Parenthood, it wasn't the trip to the abortion clinic itself that was emotionally damaging to the children it was exposure to a group of pro-life activists who were on the sidewalk outside the clinic. "Ironically, it was the protesters who raised the abortion issue as they clustered around the students, thrusting brochures at them," complained Nancy Mosher, president of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

According to a report in Forbes, New Hampshire Right to Live President Darlene Pawlik disagreed with the Planned Parenthood assessment. "Everybody knows Planned Parenthood performs abortions," Pawlik said. "There were protesters outside with signs saying 'Babies killed here.' There's no mistaking that (the students) have already been exposed to the issue."

Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, also chairman of the school board, rejected any justification for the ill-conceived trip. "I'm extremely disappointed," he said, "I don't think it's appropriate for that age group, nor do I think it's appropriate for that kind of information to be disseminated to kids in that age group by a school program."

Not only did school and YMCA officials trample on the rights of parents in scheming to expose young children to an abortion provider, but the type of information given to the children was likely very damaging. Planned Parenthood admitted that it discussed most of the services it provides, including "annual exams and PAP smears, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, birth control and pregnancy counseling...." Not only does this type of information destroy the precious innocence of childhood, it undermines the values and morals parents generally work hard to instill in their children. Moreover, it promotes promiscuity with all the attendant moral and physical ramifications.

The episode is one more indication that the war on the family and on traditional values continues unabated.


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