Johnson County, Kansas, Backs Out of Pregnancy-Prevention Grant
June 3, 2010
Reversing a previous decision, officials in Johnson County, just west of Kansas City, will not participate in a $300,000 sex education grant request involving Planned Parenthood.
"The problem is really Planned Parenthood," said Commissioner Ed Peterson, the only one of six commissioners to support the county's role in the grant request when it came up for reconsideration.
The Johnson County Health Department had sought the county's involvement in the grant request as a way to support a local pregnancy prevention project that has undergone significant budget cuts. That project lost state funding last year and has been running on a shoestring, Health Department Director Lougene Marsh said.
Between 2000 and 2006, Johnson County recorded 20 births per 1,000 girls ages 15-19, compared to 43 per 1,000 for the state of Kansas, according to County Health Rankings, an analysis funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The grant would have funded two programs. The first was a curriculum-based program to educate youth about proper behavior, relationships, and pregnancy prevention. A second program was an intervention designed to reduce teenage pregnancy and risky behavior. The county program would have focused on middle school students and health department clients in clinics geared toward teens.
Planned Parenthood was the target of many in the commission meeting audience who objected to the county's involvement in the grant proposal. "They are one of the world's greatest abortionists. I don't want any girl receiving advice from that organization," said Don Hochandel of Olathe.
Kansas City Star
05.28.2010; Jim Sullinger
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.
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