Washington Planned Parenthood Targets Teens With New Facility

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 6, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Washington Planned Parenthood Targets Teens With New Facility

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 6, 2004

Puyallup, WA (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life leaders believe that Planned Parenthood is trying to target teenagers in the state of Washington.

The organization, which is the nation’s largest abortion operation, is now offering what it calls "drop-in hours" for teens at its facility in Puyallup. Planned Parenthood officials claim the "Teen Clinic" offers information about what they call "reproductive and sexual health."

However, critics charge that Planned Parenthood’s aim is not education, but indoctrination. They say that the organization tries to woo teens with offers of birth control in order to get them into "the system," a system which includes abortion-on-demand throughout pregnancy.

While the Puyallup center does not offer abortions, its staff will likely refer teens to centers that do them.

The Planned Parenthood facility openly promotes sexual intercourse for teenagers by offering free condoms in the lobby. Teenagers must see a Planned Parenthood staffer before receiving birth control pills.

"The only reason that kids would have to go to Planned Parenthood is to get pills and abortions," Kathy McEntee, an organizer of Olympia’s annual March for Life, told the Tacoma, Washington, News Tribune.

"We are putting our kids at risk," McEntee told the newspaper. "I’m trying to expose the myth that abortion is safe."

Planned Parenthood officials are likely to promote the Teen Clinic through in-school sex education programs. The clinic is scheduled to be open three hours each Thursday to provide services to walk-ins. Teenagers can see staff members during regular office hours by making appointments.

Pro-lifers also worry that Planned Parenthood will operate similar Teen Clinics in two other Pierce County centers — one in Tacoma and the other in University Place. Planned Parenthood already operates a Teen Clinic in Bremerton, which sees as many as 25 teenagers each Tuesday.

The teen services are obviously designed to expand Planned Parenthood’s market. As Planned Parenthood spokesman Robert Harkins told the Tacoma newspaper, "It seems to attract kids who might not otherwise be seeking services."

The Planned Parenthood center reports that staff have been seeing more cases of sexually-transmitted diseases among teenagers at the Puyallup center.

The Puyallup facility opened last year. The $1.4 million building has been serving between 600 to 700 people each month — a larger client base than was originally projected.

Planned Parenthood officials say the center provides so-called "emergency contraception," which can be an abortifacient. Numerous questions have been raised recently about the wisdom of providing abortion pills to teens, following the death of an 18-year-old California woman who had been given the abortion drug RU-486 by a Planned Parenthood office without her parents’ knowledge.

The opening of the Puyallup center was not without controversy. A number of pro-life activists demonstrated at the center’s ground-breaking and grand opening.

The C.E.O. of Planned Parenthood of Western Washington, Christine Charbonneau, likes to stress the fact that Planned Parenthood provides information to teens in a confidential setting. "Special clinical hours for teens ensure that youth have equal access to the health care they need," Charbonneau told the Tacoma newspaper.

However, critics of Planned Parenthood maintain that the organization is not interested in providing quality health care. Instead, they say, Planned Parenthood’s main goal is to promote a promiscuous lifestyle which can lead to emotional heartache, sexually-transmitted diseases, and abortion.