With reports from the Surrey/North

Delta News Leader

Planned Parenthood has been banned by the Surrey Board of Education as a resource for its sexuality program.

The ban began January 25, when board vice-chair, Robert Pickering, submitted a motion to ban Planned Parenthood as a resource in the school district. The motion passed 3-1.

Two trustees, Jim Chisholm and Laurae McNally, were absent when the motion was passed. They asked the board to rescind its decision. The board had four opportunities on February 8th to give Planned Parenthood a second look but each request ended in a 3-3 tie, keeping the ban intact.

Trustee Pickering linked Planned Parenthood to an explicit 18-page how-to sex pamphlet called Great Sex Tonight distributed to students at Living School Health Conference run by School Health (DASH) held in Victoria in the fall of 1995. Planned Parenthood was one of the sponsors for the conference and the pamphlet in question was handed out by a B.C. Ministry of Health official.

A lawyer for Planned Parenthood sent a letter to the Surrey board denying any links to the pamphlet. However when the board questioned Planned Parenthood officials on their definition of abstinence it became clear that PP, while not the producers of the pamphlet, held a similar philosophy of sexuality.

At the February 8th meeting trustees grilled Dr. Dorothy Shaw, President of Planned Parenthood of B.C., and executive director Marcena Stewart Croy for more than an hour. Trustee Pickering questioned the group’s definition of abstinence, saying it promotes oral sex.

Shaw said Planned Parenthood avoids defining abstinence because some see it as refraining vaginal intercourse while other define it as no touching or kissing.

“Abstinence will depend on the individual’s values and their own state of development,” Shaw said. Stewart Croy said that “What’s abstinence in one culture is different from another,” she said. ”It’s not our role to say what’s right or wrong.”

Pickering says he supports the ban because Planned Parenthood (PP) misleads parents and pushes the boundaries of common decency.

“They, under the definition of abstinence, teach outercourse. Their definition is not what most people think,” he said. “Outercourse” would include most sexual activity except the sex act itself, he said. “It’s naive to think you could encourage [certain acts] and think you’re going to decrease STDs, AIDS or the HIV rate.”

The Surrey/North Delta News Leader reported that one parent at the meeting covered his young daughter’s ears during the debate.

On CKNW radio in October 1994, Jim Foulds Ph.D., president of Planned Parenthood foundation admitted to talk show host Bill Good that Planned Parenthood doesn’t encourage abstinence, only outercourse. “I don’t think it [abstinence] needs to be encouraged. I would never want to put that pressure of total abstinence on the teenager that that’s the only thing you can do. I’m sorry. Abstinence. It’s just too much of a denial of the biology and it’s too much of a denial of what we see.”

The Surrey Teachers Association filed a grievance against the school board February 9th. Until now teachers could invite PP speakers under the mandate of CAPP (Career and Personal Planning Curriculum- similar to the old family life program).

Roberta Braddock teaches the family life component to grade 8 and 11 students at Guildford Park Secondary. Braddock used to invite PP Speakers to discuss birth control with her students but according to the Surrey/North Delta News Leaders, after 1991 her school could no longer afford the honorarium PP requests for its visits.

Trustee Ken Hoffmann, who had voted for the original ban, was considering changing his vote. Then he received 73 telephone calls in four days. “I was going to vote to rescind the motion so that Planned Parenthood could still work in Surrey, “he said “but the calls showed that Surrey doesn’t appreciate Planned parenthood.”

“I believe the board should have the guts to stand up to having this advocacy group having access to the classroom and the children,” Pickering said before the final vote.

And the Surrey Board of Education had the guts. Their ban should encourage other school boards across the country to reevaluate the worth of Planned Parenthood.

Warning: The following excerpts from a Vancouver Public

Health department brochure contains graphic subject matter.

How would you define abstinence?

The Vancouver Public Health department said in a brochure called Preventing Pregnancy that abstinence includes oral and anal sex. The 38-page brochure was distributed in Vancouver schools but after parental protest and media attention was withdrawn.

“Abstinence is a decision made by both partners in a relationship. It means not having vaginal intercourse, You can still be sexually active with your partner by kissing, hugging, body rubbing and mutual masturbation. If you abstain from vaginal intercourse and direct contact between vagina and penis, there is no risk of pregnancy, so birth control is not needed. All of the sexual activities mentioned above are also considered safer-sex which means there is very little risk you will come in contact with sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Some people who practice abstinence have oral sex. Oral sex is low-to medium risk for STDs and HIV. Anal intercourse is also a common sexual activity but is very high risk for STDs and HIV, and may be a risk for pregnancy as will. Wearing condoms makes anal sex safer. If you choose abstinence there are many ways you can still be sexual with your partner. Enjoy being sexual—remember to be safe.”(Preventing Pregnancy, Vancouver Health Department pg. 30)

By this definition abstinence is “outercourse” and involves everything but vaginal penetration. Outercourse is just another name for foreplay. To recommend it we are just setting our kids up for trouble and betraying them.

“Disease” trivialized to “infection” by Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada has announced that it will no longer be using the STD (sexually transmitted disease) but will speak of STI (sexually transmitted infection) in its literature, counseling and public relations. Planned Parenthood claims the change is necessary because the term disease creates hype and worry and relegates sexually transmitted “infections” to “a more sinister and dangerous dimension than most diseases.”

Their press release said the term STD is used because of “widespread discomfort with human sexually, past and present.” Planned Parenthood is urging other organizations who are “interested in promoting positive attitudes toward sexuality” to also use the euphemism “infection.”

The January 25 Citizen, published by Focus on the Family, Canada, noted that,
the change in terminology will do nothing to help reduce the current epidemic of STDs and is likely to augment the number of cases by trivializing the impact of sexually transmitted diseases. The fact is many of these “infections” are not curable and will recur throughout an individual’s lifetime, leading to physical and social dysfunction or even infertility.”