Late last month North Dakota passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the union, prohibiting the procedure upon detection of a fetal heartbeat, which begins as early as six weeks. Now, an additional bill, SB2368, is also in the works to ban abortions after 20 weeks on the dubious notion of “fetal pain”. Think “belt and suspenders”. As if to add insult to injury, it’s being amended to ban funding for a comprehensive sex education program because it’s run – in part – by Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood and North Dakota State University were jointly planning to administer the program, which would have provided counseling and information about abstinence, contraception and sexually transmitted infections. But state Rep. Bette Grande (R-Fargo) proposed to kill the grant to keep Planned Parenthood out of teen sex education in North Dakota, even though the family planning provider does not operate any clinics in the state.
The North Dakota legislature’s stance on sex education – even without this latest development – has been one of sticking their collective heads in the sand and telling kids to “just say no“. You know, for “righteousness”. While their STI and teen pregnancy rate are, thankfully, below the national average, the overwhelming majority of states that have instituted such policies have ended up with some serious problems on both fronts.
Bette Grande offers her explanation for the move:
“They’re not a part of how we do business in this state,” Grande said of Planned Parenthood in January after the sex ed program was announced. “It is an overt abortion industry that we don’t want to be a part of.”
“Not a part of how you do business?” Well, hell … what is? Passing legislation that tells women that a developing embryo measuring less than half an inch in length from stem to stern has more rights than they do, and that the information regarding the process used to make these little miracles is to be held ransom until such a time when the word “abortion” is effectively stricken from public awareness? Because it sure sounds like you guys like neither the message nor the messenger in this situation, and you are more than willing to put the safety of your teens at risk in order to say so.
Planned Parenthood isn’t part of an abortion “industry”. Abortion services make up 3% of what they do overall. The remaining 97% consists of STI and cancer screening, women’s health services, family planning, and prenatal care. In addition, only 13% of their revenue comes from abortion services, so they’re not exactly relying on it as a primary source of income. I’m going to venture a guess and say that if they didn’t have to perform any more abortions because women only became pregnant when they wanted to, that would be just fine with them.
But that doesn’t matter. None of the other services they provide “count” since coupled along with it is a legal medical procedure that some people find morally objectionable. And if Planned Parenthood wants to work with ND State University to help residents with a sex education program that involves a little more than a promise ring, a King James Bible, and a secondhand bassinet? Nope. Ain’t gonna happen. These sinners perform (safe, legal) abortions in other states so they’re not welcome here to teach our kids about sex.
I hope today’s generation of teens has the opportunity to properly thank people like Grande for their righteous moral guidance in about a generation or so when they start picking out nursing homes.