How a Sex Education Opinion Piece Missed the Mark

Pennsylvania school is now banning outside presentations on abstinence as a choice after a student complained

CNN published an op-ed recently by a senior at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. It was titled “How I Ended Abstinence-Only Sex Education in My School.”

But as the student, Abigail McElroy, states in the article, the course already covered “HIV [human immunodeficiency virus], STDs [sexually transmitted diseases] and abstinence,” as required by Pennsylvania educational standards.

She applauds her school for going beyond the requirements of the state of Pennsylvania, including sharing “information about contraceptives, LGBT terminology, and drugs and alcohol.”

People may say, “That doesn’t sound like abstinence-only sex ed to me.” While the student enjoyed her “quite comprehensive” sex ed class, the one bit she actually didn’t like — and the part on which her piece is focused — was a presentation made by Amnion Pregnancy Center in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, about ways to maintain a healthy relationship without engaging in sexual activity.

“By allowing Amnion to present year after year, my school supported a group that put its religious beliefs above our right to complete information,” the writer stated, explaining why she took her case from the principal of her high school to the school board.

She labels Amnion Pregnancy Center a “faux abortion clinic” in the article; after checking Amnion’s website, its office window, and its listing in the phone book, I can find no evidence of the group’s making such a claim — that it lures in clients by masquerading as an abortion provider.

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The opinion author provided no support for that — and then said, also without evidence, “Amnion is one of thousands of crisis pregnancy centers in the United States, or pro-life nonprofits that often pose as abortion clinics.”

Having attended a presentation by Amnion’s RealEd Program educators, I found it to be an insightful, engaging talk that empowers students with information, coping skills, and communication suggestions for setting boundaries and understanding consent.

These programs provide information not found elsewhere in sexual education courses, and they’re designed to reach those who choose not to engage in sexual activity in their high school relationships. Everything else the degeneracy-peddling crowd demands in sex ed was there in the author’s class, even “LGBT terminology,” which affects such a minority (under 10 percent) of students.

The author went after one part of the curriculum that she found personally offensive: a single one-hour presentation that offered teens an alternative to the onslaught that is so pervasive in our culture, our entertainment, and now, sadly, in our schools.

She wrote, “In short, their organization seeks to manipulate women out of their right to choose.”

Not true. But now teenage boys and girls who choose not to engage in sexual activity no longer have the choice to hear a presentation that acknowledges, upholds, and encourages their choice.

Related: Conservative Parents Take Action Against the Sexualization of Their Kids

The article goes on: “In the end, the superintendent, Lisa Palmer, announced that Amnion would be banned from presenting in health class. In an email to the district’s parents, she wrote, ‘Moving forward, core sexual education topics will be covered by our own Wallingford-Swarthmore teachers, not outside presenters. This will allow us to more closely control the information presented, again with our goal of presenting factual, balanced information that empowers our students to make healthy choices.'”

And herein lies the silver lining of a young person’s crusade that is worthy of celebration.

If no “outside presenters” will be permitted to lecture students, this will effectively keep Planned Parenthood from entering our children’s classrooms and consciences as well.

See more on the sex ed dilemma in the nation’s high schools in the video, below.

Jewels Green is a mother, writer, public speaker, and advocate for the right to life; she’s based in a suburb of Philadelphia.

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