Local and Community News
Indiana: Some Question Planned Parenthood-Church Sex-Ed Partnership
December 12, 2002
Local pastors and pro-life groups are criticizing Planned Parenthood of Greater Indiana after the organization announced last week it will partner with Fort Wayne churches to teach faith-based sexuality classes. Some said Planned Parenthood is jumping on the "faith-based" bandwagon to grab money available to organizations serving the faith community. Others said medically accurate sex education curriculum is already offered by several community organizations, including McMillen Center for Health Education and True Life Choices.Adapted from:
Planned Parenthood has received grants totaling $100,000 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and the Engleberg Foundation to begin the initiative in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. Such programs already exist in other states. "We need look no further than Planned Parenthood's own Web site to discover the motivation for their new interest in faith-based activities," said the Rev. Steve Jones, pastor of First Missionary Church. According to the organization's Web site, $3.67 million is received annually in federal funding.
Kathleen Baldwin, vice president of education and training for Planned Parenthood of Greater Indiana, said the sex-ed curriculum is not yet defined, but it will be fact-based and encompass churches' needs. Abstinence is "part of a comprehensive curriculum," Baldwin said. "But we like individuals to have a backup plan if [it] fails."
Jones said it never fails. "If you're sending a mixed signal to kids, it's no wonder they don't abide by what you've taught them," he said.
In a letter from black pastors representing Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, clergy wrote: "Our moral values for family and our young adults, do not allow us to embrace the concepts of Planned Parenthood."
Cathie Humbarger, executive director of Right to Life, said although abortions are not done at local Planned Parenthood offices, "The bias of an organization that profits from performing abortions cannot be overlooked when considering their plan to offer sex education and facilitate "value-based" discussions about birth control and abortion." Additionally, Humbarger pointed to a 2001 National Institutes of Health report showing the risk of certain STDs is not reduced by condom usage.
Baldwin said three Fort Wayne pastors have already called to express their support of the initiative, but declined to name them.
Fort Wayne News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
12.11.02; Jennifer L. Boen
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.