Planned Parenthood and children’s sexual rights

One News Now
Perspectives

Marcia Segelstein – OneNewsNow Columnist – 2/23/2010 9:35:00 AM

The International Planned Parenthood Federation is the umbrella organization for 180 Planned Parenthood organizations around the world.  It recently released a report called “Stand and Deliver: Sex, health and young people in the 21st century.”  The term “young people” refers to anyone over the age of 10.

The IPPF report includes a list of “Young People’s Human Rights.”  Among them are the following:

● Young people have the right to privacy, which is essential to the exercise of sexual autonomy.
● Young people have the right to confidentiality regarding sexual health services and care.
● Young people have the right to access information and education about sexual rights, sexual orientation, sexuality, social relationships, and gender identity.
● Young people have the right to participate in the development and implementation of policies that determine their welfare, including their sexual and reproductive health.

In a special section called “Faith, Religion and Spirituality,” the report describes a meeting it convened to give young people a chance to discuss their own sexual and reproductive health issues within religious contexts.  Apparently religion is considered problematic by the IPPF, as evidenced by this statement in the report: “Culture, religion and traditions are some of the biggest obstacles in implementing sexual and reproductive health programmes for young people.”

Now read carefully the following paragraph, as the IPFF not only criticizes religion vis-à-vis sex, but compares the Catholic Church to Islamic madrasas:

Young people’s sexuality is still contentious for many religious institutions.  Fundamentalist and other religious groups – the Catholic Church and madrases (Islamic schools) for example – have imposed tremendous barriers that prevent young people, particularly from obtaining information and services related to sex and reproduction.  Currently, many religious teachings deny the pleasurable and positive aspects of sex and limited guidelines for sexual education often focus on abstinence before marriage….The reality is, young people are sexual beings and many of them are religious as well.  There is a need for pragmatism, to address life as it is and not as it might be in an ideal world.

It’s so breathtakingly outrageous, it’s difficult to know where to start.

The notion that Planned Parenthood’s international arm — or any organization for that matter — has any business telling children that they have the right to privacy, sexual autonomy, access to information about gender identity, and the right to determine policy regarding their reproductive health is beyond belief.  Since when do children have the right to any of those things?  How did we get to the point where an international organization is actually attempting to step between parents and children by usurping parental authority, much less the authority of religious institutions?

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.