Life is beautiful and imperfect, a source of wonder and a challenge so complex that it’s good to pause from time to time and check our perspective and priorities against eternal truth. Jim Daly’s blog, Daly Focus, is full of daily insight and wisdom that promises to help you navigate today’s culture.
If you are a parent, do yourself a favor. Spend a few minutes reading the advice offered to teens at TeenWire.com. That's the website created by Planned Parenthood whose information on sexuality is both irresponsible and dangerous. My guess is that it won't take but a few minutes before you'll see that Planned Parenthood's advice on sex and abortion is contrary to the view of morality you've worked to instill in your young person.
Among the things you'll discover, teens are told that Abstinence-Only Sex Education Programs don't work. Planned Parenthood wants your teen to believe that such programs "aren't effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies or reducing teens' risk for sexually transmitted infections." Pardon me for stating the obvious, but if a teen saves sex for marriage they have a ZERO percent chance of contracting a STD, including AIDS, or becoming pregnant.
Because Planned Parenthood is so hostile toward abstinence-based curriculum, they state that such programs "open the door to harassment, especially of LGBTQ students" (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, questioning) and "promote discrimination by adults, too." But according to the stories I hear from those courageous teens who abstain from sex, they are the ones who are vilified on high school campuses for refusing to go along with the permissive sexual-experimentation crowd.
As you noodle around their teen website, you'll notice the prevailing view of Planned Parenthood is that your teenager is likely to engage in sex, has a right to engage in sex, and shouldn't view it as a sacred gift reserved for those who are married. Which is why when teens travel abroad, Planned Parenthood reminds them to carry "condoms, dental dams, and lube" in a "sturdy, waterproof sexual health kit."
What our teens are not told is that there is no condom that can protect their mind from unwanted memories or from the heartache that comes when they engage in random acts of sex, whether on the road or closer to home.
When it comes to the wonderful job that Crisis Pregnancy Centers offer teens, Planned Parenthood claims CPC "staff members usually have no professional training and the environment is filled with inaccurate, anti-choice information" which "mislead women to think they are clinics that provide a full range of services." Furthermore, they claim "CPCs use misleading films, ultrasound pictures, and written materials to scare and emotionally manipulate women into continuing their pregnancies."
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Their bias is unfounded, their hostility is telling. Think about it. Whenever a teenager chooses to keep their baby, that's one less customer from which Planned Parenthood can profit. Make no mistake, abortion is big business for them. Planned Parenthood affiliated health centers aborted 289,750 babies in 2006. At several hundred dollars per abortion, that's a serious revenue stream that Planned Parenthood wants to protect.
Regarding the issue of homosexuality, Planned Parenthood has plenty of advice. A 14-year-old girl asked, "How do I know if I'm gay?" The Planned Parenthood editors say, "Sexual orientation--being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight--is all about sexual attaction. All these sexual orientations are perfectly normal."
Elsewhere they tell teens, "Sexual orientation is not a matter of choice . . . it cannot be 'cured' through therapy or medical treatment." We have members of our staff who once embraced the homosexual lifestyle and who chose to change. That decision isn't one you'll hear Planned Parenthood discuss in a positive light.
Furthermore, Planned Parenthood is opposed to the parental consent laws that most states have in place which require a minor girl to secure the permission of one or both parents before getting an abortion. I'm personally offended at the overt methods they employ on this website to help your teenage daughter circumvent that law through a procedure called a "judicial bypass."
And if the aforementioned issues weren't disturbing enough, a third of Planned Parenthood's budget--some $336 million dollars--is funded by YOUR tax dollars. I'm all for freedom of speech. Planned Parenthood has a right to express their position on human sexuality just as you and I have a right to disagree. But I draw the line at the notion that I should have to pay to underwrite a perspective that is at odds with my convictions.
Your teenager has a bull's-eye painted on his or her forehead and it's open season thanks to Planned Parenthood.
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Comment by G-A-Y:
"We have members of our staff who once embraced the homosexual lifestyle and who chose to change. That decision isn't one you'll hear Planned Parenthood discuss in a positive light."
In the sense of fairness and ethics, Mr Daly, you need to tell your readers the truth about where the organized medical/scientific community stands on the topic. Planned Parenthood is FAR from the only organization who refrains from painting "change" in a positive light.
Comment by Susan:
I visited a Crisis Pregnancy Center(unaware that they were different than Planned Parenthood) to verify I was pregnant (free test and poor young student)and I was treated as if I was there for an abortion. I was so spun by the attitude, I allowed the routine to just run its coarse, all running on the assumption I did not want the baby. What could have been a high point in my life, became an alarming experience in the errors assumptions can lead us to. And yes, I was scared and emotionally manipulated to keep my baby and furthermore when I finally got out I was married and this baby was wanted, I got no apology and was not even believed. When I called back later to voice my complaint to the manager I was not really listened to. When I complained to the complaint-line I was told that they were not regulated like a medical establishment and was heavy on volunteers and to go in person and voice my complaint as human being to human being. So -so many years later I find myself doing this here.
Comment by Beatrice81:
"Whenever a teenager chooses to keep their baby, that's one less customer from which Planned Parenthood can profit."
Huh? Could Jim Daly explain the sort of math where the addition of another mouth to feed (to later grow up into a sexually mature and active individual) means one LESS customer for Planned Parenthood? By my count, that's one MORE customer.
Sorry, but I'm not going to fault Planned Parenthood for helping teenagers (and others) practice responsible reproduction. Nobody is well served by reckless procreation.
Comment by Amy:
In what way are Planned Parenthood's statements false? You're saying it's not true that CPC's are largely staffed by unlicensed volunteers, have a clearly pro-life rather than pro-choice agenda, and that they do not provide a full range of services (that is to say, CPC's do not provide their patients the option to abort the fetus)?Also, when it is said that abstinence-based sexual education programs do not work, it means that it is not effective in persuading young people to stay chaste, not that abstinence itself is not effective in avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Not every teenage American will see the value of abstinence when weighed against the value of sex and, truly, it's many benefits (physical pleasure, for instance).
Comment by Nancy:
I'm reading this post and wondering if the argument about homosexuality isn't a straw man. I mean, Mr. Daly seems to be saying that his tax dollars shouldn't be supporting Planned Parenthood for two separate reasons: 1) they don't teach abstinence-only when it comes to sex, and 2) they give information on GLBT issues and don't endorse ex-gay therapies.
Since the American population is in favor of the availability of abortion and comprehensive sex education (in clinics and online at the very least if not in the schools), and that by a good majority, perhaps Mr. Daly is bringing up the "gay stuff" knowing that more Americans are afraid to have their children learn about homosexuality than about safe sex? It seems he wants to get his readership on his side against Planned Parenthood at all costs, so he sort of has to make them forget that most of them are actually in support of government-subsidized abortion and safe sex information.
Comment by M Todd:
It is not surprising that PPH takes this view since it's goal has more to do with changing the moral views on sexuality than preventing unwanted pregnancies.
The question is what do parents do? All a parent can do is raise their children, teach them the values of virtue and morality. Sadly to many parents expect the schools, youth group, or TV to teach these moral lessons. It is the responsibility of the parents.
What I have seen is still a double standard. Boys are expected to sow their wild oats and girls are to be virgins when they are married. This is not the case with everyone,but this attitude is alive and well even in the church.
More times than not the examples given of sexuality gone wrong is about a girl who looses her virginity because she drank or trusted a guy. Or a story of a girl getting pregnant. The only mention of boys is when they have to pay child support for their children. Boys as well as girls should be taught to respect and cherish their sexuality and wait for a marriage relationship.
Humans are sexual beings both boys and girls. Sexual feelings are natural and when controlled and put in the context of marriage a beautiful expression of love. Just telling our children God wants you to wait, without giving them the reasons will not get you far. Also, trying to use the fear of pregnancy or STDs will not do much good because young people especially teens think they are bullet proof and for the most part lack judgement.
One of the last steps of bonding is sexual relations. I see (even in the church) adults creating boy girl relationships earlier and earlier. I cringe when parents proudly tell about their grade school children going to their first girl boy dance or have a boy or girl friend. What do you expect will happen when they let their pre and teens enters into a steady relationship for years?
Our children were not encouraged to date in their teens because they were not in a position to move towards marriage. Instead they built friendships with both boys and girls and did not really get serious about forming a serious relationship until they finished college and were in a position to get married and bond for a life time.
My daughter finished college last year is dating a young man, they are both finished with school and both have serious discussions about the future. But, more importantly if they do fall in love they do not have to wait 5 or 6 years to get married and try and remain pure until marriage. This would not be the case if they met when they were in high school. My son is still in college and does not want to enter into a relationship with a girl until he is finished with school. It may seem old fashion, but it worked for our family.
Comment by Genevieve McCarty:
I am dismayed to see the responses to Mr. Daly's articles. I am saddened to see that there are so many people so wounded that their main goal is to look for articles on the internet that they can argue with and try to feel morally superior to.
I am more disheartened that the very fabric of our society has so deteriorated that it seems reasonable to these parents or future parents of America's future that the well-being of it's children should be handed over to the values of a corrupt and immoral society. Why would anyone want their little girls to have sex? Why don't we value them and teach them to value themselves enough to save themselves for someone who actually cares about them?
As a woman who experienced teenage premarital sex and premarital pregnancy, I can vouch for the void and confusion that it can leave in a woman's growing world. Not yet old enough to grasp that an action from my body could affect me for the rest of my life, there was no one there to instruct me and protect me. Why have our values becom so wishy washy that we can't even instruct our children on what they can and can't do? If our children feel that it's neccessary to give in to the impulse to steal an old ladies purse do we tell them, "If you have to do it, just make sure you're protected. We don't want you to feel any ramifications from your actions."
Pregnancy is a side effect of sex and even when birth control is used there is still a chance that an ill equipped child will have to embark upon a journey that they are not mentally or emotionally equipped to handle, and the innocent baby is the person who pays the price whether there is an abortion or not. Our society borders on schizophrenia, where in one room in a hospital a woman may be recieving a second trimester abortion and in the next room a woman will be delivering a baby at the same gestational age and a medical team will be vigilantly fighting for it's life. Wake up people... what is the definition of life? When did a woman's choice become the ultimate right protected by our constitution while the rights of a tiny human are thrown out in a medical waste bag?
Comment by Sophie Prell:
I'm pro-life and anti-premarital sex, but I think we're focusing a bit too much on the negative, here. There are plenty of places on the website that says, "The only 100 percent way of avoiding pregnancy/STIs is abstinence... Many of today's teens in fact choose abstinence... Many couples find alternatives to sex to show affection such as hugging, kissing, holding hands, or massage... Etc."
They can't make a morally declarative statement because that's simply not what they're about. They are an information source. There's no "right" or "wrong" on this website, simply "safe" and "unsafe".
Children will learn morals (or should, anyway) from their parents and organizations that are dedicated to that. If, as parents, you don't want your children learning the morals of today's media and internet, then instill your own values in them first. Create an open dialogue.
I'm not saying every child will inevitably have premarital sex. That's ridiculous. But sooner or later, they'll find out about sex. Better they learn from you, no? That way, when they find a website like this, they can be confident in their beliefs and say, "This information isn't applicable to me, because I'm not going to have sex before marriage."
"Sacred gift"? It's just how we reproduce.
--I am appalled by the lies spewed by Planned Parenthood. And by 99% of the posters on here. Thank God for a good person like Jim Daly who preaches the truth. The world would be a much better place if there were more people like him.