by Steven Ertelt
October 18, 2006
New Hope, PA (LifeNews.com) — A Pennsylvania school is receiving heavy criticism from pro-life advocates for taking a group of students on a field trip to a local Planned Parenthood abortion business. More than a dozen teenagers from the Solebury School were bused to an abortion center in Warminster on Friday, September 29.
Jason Gordon, a social science teacher, took the teens to the abortion business as part of a class on "activism," but the were denied access to a pro-life facility to hear the other side of the abortion debate.
“It’s a survey course,” Gordon told the Catholic Standard and Times, a publication of the Philadelphia Catholic Diocese.
“We’re looking at activism throughout history, pretty well centered in American activism, the civil rights movement, the labor movement, the women”s movement, the environmental movement," he explained.
The curriculum may have been fine had the students been exposed to both pro-life and pro-abortion arguments and allowed to form their own opinion, but a local pro-life advocate who was praying outside the abortion center at the time says that didn’t happen.
Eileen Stone was outside the abortion facility with several other pro-life advocates when the students arrived.
"We tried to encourage them to come down and talk to us, to at least hear the other side of the story, but they weren’t allowed," she told the CS&T newspaper.
Instead, students donned vests that pro-abortion escorts normally wear to usher women into the abortion center. And, the CST reports that abortion advocates played a radio loud enough that the pro-life people outside couldn’t talk loud enough for the students to hear.
“This is very, very disturbing,” Stone told the Catholic newspaper. “These students are only seeing one side. Shouldn’t they see another perspective? After all, education is about seeing the whole picture.”
The Planned Parenthood abortion business also failed to allow both sides of the story to materialize as it allowed a local reported inside to cover the "educational" event but refused access to a CS&T reporter.
Gordon told the CST that he would not allow a pro-life advocate to address his students because he said they were supposed to learn about activism but not engage in it.
“They’re not doing activism inside the clinic,” he claimed. "We talked to some of the people inside who are involved in activism, but I didn’t want them to engage in any activism. So, to talk to these other people, we’d be making a statement for their side.”
“I don’t impose anything on the kids,” Gordon insisited in an interview with CST.
The Solebury School also defended the decision to send its students to an abortion business.
Stone called the headmaster of the school, John Brown, who told her he had no problem with the trip. He said it was “‘just a matter of opinion.’”
Brown would not respond to an interview request from CS&T and was unavailable when LifeNews.com contacted him to request an interview.
ACTION: Voice your complaints to: Solebury School, 6832 Phillips Mill Rd, New Hope, PA 18938-9682 or call 215-862-5261, send a fax to 215-862-1870, or email John Brown at [email protected].