Editor’s note: This article contains some graphic descriptions of a sexual education session.

It was another Women’s Health Matters Forum and Expo – and another opportunity for Planned Parenthood and the Bay Centre for Birth Control to impart their immoral and dangerous views on sexual health to impressionable high school-aged girls.

The two joined in staging a multi-media “What’s Your Sexual Health IQ?” session on Jan. 16, as part of the forum and expo held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As in past years, adolescent girls were bused in from high schools in the Toronto region – usually as part of “health” classes – to sit captively and listen to facilitators basically expound a free-sex philosophy, with the caveat that one should always take proper precautions in the way of “safer sex.”

“Safe sex is – I should say, safer sex,” said one facilitator, correcting herself. “Safe sex is you don’t have sex at all and that’s not really sex. Condoms can be used to make things safer.”

Another facilitator, Karen, claimed conclusively that the birth control pill does not cause cancer and in fact, actually reduces the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer. However, she did acknowledge that the pill makes women nauseous and added that it’s not a good enough birth control method on its own.

Facilitator “Moe” admitted that condoms are “not 100 per cent” effective in preventing infections or pregnancy and said there are still more than 100 pregnancies in every 1,000 women who use condoms. Nonetheless, she urged her young charges to always carry condoms with them, “just so you’re always sort of prepared.”

Of course, if that fails, there is always recourse to the abortifacient “morning-after pill.” “Moe” said a new one called Plan B is now being distributed, which contains progesterone only, with no estrogen. She admitted people became “deathly ill” on an earlier form of the pill “a couple of years ago.”

Another facilitator unwittingly illustrated the devastating results her own free-sex philosophies have wrought by saying 6 per cent of male teens have herpes, with 75 per cent of sufferers not even knowing they have it. Meanwhile, 25 per cent of teenage girls have chlamydia. “That’s pretty scary,” she observed.

Another facilitator encouraged girls who weren’t well versed in all aspects of sexuality and birth control to take “sex ed for summer school” or visit the Bay Centre for Birth Control.

The session ended with the facilitators asking four schoolgirls to come to the front of the room, be blindfolded and then attempt to slip condoms onto plastic penises the fastest. “We want to see some style!” crowed one excitedly. The winner was given a gift bag with condoms, movie passes, pens and other items.

Dr. John Shea, a medical adviser to Campaign Life Coalition, took issue with some of the claims made by Planned Parenthood and the Bay Centre for Birth Control at the session. He referred to several studies that clearly reveal an increased risk of cancer emerging from oral contraceptive use. He said any studies showing no relationship between oral contraceptives and cancer were “defectively designed” and omitted important factors.

Shea reiterated Moe’s point that condoms are far from 100 per cent effective. He cited a 2001 National Institute of Health report on condom effectiveness, which found that there is no clinical proof of condoms’ effectiveness against gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, chancroid, syphilis, genital herpes or human papilloma virus.

Elsewhere at the forum and expo, Planned Parenthood was promoting a “sexual and reproductive health awareness day” for Feb. 12, with posters featuring photogenic individuals from various races. It also distributed an “Accidents Happen” poster, which pushed a 1-800 number for information on access to the emergency contraceptive pill.