Family Planning’s obsession with sex

Family Planning New Zealand is an organisation obsessed with sex.  And they are especially obsessed with young people exercising their so-called ‘right’ to participate in sex.

Consequences of sexual activity outside of a monogamous committed relationship (that would be marriage) are a nasty by-product of experiencing fleeting ‘pleasure’ in Family Planning’s view.

Concern for the nation’s youth sees Family Planning hold clinics in a total of 56 locations.  23 of those are school-based services, and visits for under 22’s are free.  Regrettably, they have managed to wheedle their way into Catholic schools, influencing teachers and students alike with their propaganda which contradicts the church’s strong (and beautiful) moral teaching on human sexuality.

Providing sexual health services and “education” is a nice little earner for this organisation that has been working hard to desensitise and normalise all manner of sexual behaviours since its inception in 1936 as the Sex Hygiene and Birth Regulation Society.  Their gross income from grants, donations and service provision is around $15.5 million dollars each year.  In the year ended 30 June 2014, that income included government grants of $11.7 million.

Alarmingly Family Planning is pleased with the “success” of their Tauranga abortion facility.  According to their Annual Report 138 women had abortions in the year under review (1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014).

At this clinic Family Planning have been providing early medical abortions since March 2013.  Women are given the drug mifepristone (which blocks the action of the pregnancy hormone progesterone) then some time later (up to 48 hours) another drug, misoprostol, will be administered, expelling the preborn child and pregnancy related tissue.

The application for the license was submitted to the Abortion Supervisory Committee very quietly.  Earlier attempts in 2009 to gain a license for their Hamilton clinic was thwarted when pro-life groups worked together to expose the plan and the risks to women and their preborn children.  But now that they have one license, Family Planning will be looking to provide early medical abortions at all of their clinics.

There should be little surprise then that Family Planning invited Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) to their 2013 Conference in Wellington.

Abortion and sex education are big business for Planned Parenthood.  In fact, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortion in the United States.  And Family Planning New Zealand wants to learn from them.

What Family Planning don’t realise is that Planned Parenthood is getting exposed for its lies, dodgy information and greed.  If Family Planning take a page out of Planned Parenthood’s book they may just find themselves sinking in the muck too.

Abby Johnson visiting New Zealand

 

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Life affirming ultrasound

Ultrasound PhotoI recently had the experience of sitting in on a 19 week pregnancy scan. For my wife and I it was the first chance to see our new child and as such, we were both looking forward to it.

For many couples, the first pregnancy ultrasound is the first bonding experience they have with their new child.  Before the days of ultrasound, a mother’s first bonding to the new baby was started when she first felt the baby moving, but increasingly, the ultrasound is the first experience that mothers and fathers have with their new child.  This is recognised by medical researchers. It’s also probably been a factor in society’s increasing recognition of the humanity of the pre born child.

Forming this relationship between parents and the child is important. The strength of the bond will affect many outcomes for the child, particularly for the child’s education.

I have personally found a great deal of difference between sonographers.  I’ve had the privilege of seeing Shari Richard at work, and seen her infectious enthusiasm for the unborn child, and the positive effect it has on the child’s parents.  Few sonographers can match her enthusiasm.  I’ve seen other sonographers at work, including one working on me, although she wasn’t going to find a baby and wasn’t looking for one!  They differ greatly in the way they interact with parents about their new baby.  The most recent sonographer we had always referred to our child as ‘baby’, e.g. “This is babies head” etc.

But this isn’t always the case.  We had a scan in a previous pregnancy when the sonographer became very quiet.  Later we found out the reason – she had found a medical problem with our child.  Although it was potentially very serious, a couple of surgeries fixed the problem before it could do any serious damage, and our child now enjoys excellent health.

But why the difference in the response of the sonographer?  Our baby didn’t stop being our baby because he had a medical problem. We certainly didn’t love him any less.

But sonographers and other medical professional are influenced by abortion.  Abortion is considered a solution to many birth defects, so it’s natural for sonographers to moderate their enthusiasm for the baby during scans.

But this could affect the start of the formation of the bond between baby and parents. Crisis Pregnancy Centres have known for a long time the benefit of an expectant mother seeing her baby by ultrasound.  It encourages the bond to form between mother and child.  But ultrasound can be used in a way that doesn’t encourage this bonding.  Clinic profit motives and abortion quotas can affect the way ultrasound results are presented and interpreted.  A recent study of 15 500 women attending Planned Parenthood abortion clinics showed that viewing ultrasound images had very little effect on the mothers decision to abort her child.  It’s hard to imagine the ultrasound technicians in these abortion clinics wanted to present the humanity of the pre-born child and facilitate bonding between mother and child.

Similarly, using ultrasound as a search and destroy mission to eliminate less than perfect is not a good way to encourage bonding. It’s important for the sonographer to show the beauty and humanity of the pre-born child.  This is the start of a relationship that will last a lifetime.  It’s the most important relationship, and it deserves a good start.  Children do better when there is good bonding with their parents.  It’s here that the sensitivity to the minority that have abortions, affects the rest of us – and our children.

It is one of the ways that abortion affects us all.

 

A Pro-life view of ‘Tolerance’

“Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Something about ‘tolerance’ has always made me uncomfortable. I’ve long been aware that the loudest preachers of tolerance are the ones who are the most intolerant of my own beliefs. I’m well aware of that, and the contradiction of it, but somehow it never really was the reason.

And those who preach tolerance are full of conviction. It’s their followers who they expect to abandon their convictions, or conform to what is politically correct. We all know plenty of them. I’ve also been aware of this for a long time, but it was never the whole source of what was bothering me about ‘tolerance’.

There was always something else that I could never put my finger on.

Then I was blessed enough to hear Fr Jim Brand from Vatican radio talking about ‘tolerance’, and my eyes were opened. “What might we tolerate?” he asked, “A fly buzzing around…”

Essentially he was reminding us all that when we only ‘tolerate’ something bad or irritating. When we declare our tolerance of a person, it’s actually a put down. And that’s a problem for a Christian. The worth of each and every person comes from them being made in the image and likeness of God. Whether it’s a ‘reproductive rights’ protestor, an expectant mum at a pregnancy centre, or her preborn child. Another human being is never a ‘thing’ to be ‘tolerated’, but a chance for us to practice our Christian vocation of love.

So tolerance is far below the standard required of a Christian. If an expectant Mum came into our centre, and I merely tolerated her because of her beliefs about abortion, then I have failed her, myself and our Lord.

Her, because she will pick up the difference between a ‘tolerant’ attitude and a true Christian attitude of unconditional love. It’s the reason that faith based crisis pregnancy centres have been so effective. I’ve failed myself because I’ve failed to live up to my Christian vocation, and it doing so, I’ve failed our Lord too.

But there is the call to be intolerant. Yes, Christians are called to be intolerant. Our Lord himself showed a great deal of intolerance towards the practice of ‘money changing’ in the temple.

While we are not to be intolerant of people, there is plenty we are called to be intolerant too: Abortion, contraception, poverty, human trafficking, violence and anything that robs people of their God given dignity.

It’s our mission and vocation to bring the Gospel of Life, a world where everyone experiences God given grace and dignity, from conception to natural death. And it’s our job to be intolerant to a culture of death that robs people of their God given dignity, and then so often, their lives too.

And in this, may we never be that man without a conviction!

“All men are equal as all pennies are equal, because the only value in any of them is that they bear the image of the King.” G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

A bitter pill

Image

This week’s news has yet another report of an otherwise young and healthy women who died needlessly. The cause of death, a blood clot. And the likely reason is a medication she was taking. And the sad part is that this type of medication kills 2 New Zealand women on average every year from blood clots. The medication was the birth control pill, Estelle, although every type and brand of combined oral contraceptive pill raises the chances of venous thromboembolim, or blood clots.

Every medication has its risks, risk factors, and contraindications. When prescribing, the doctor has the take that into account, weighing it against the severity of the disease being treated. So these deaths are particularly disturbing as oral contraceptives are prescribed mostly to healthy women. In the case from this week, the doctors involved were found to have breached the health code, in prescribing this contraceptive to the woman without warning her of the risks, including a personal history that demonstrated a very high risk of venous thromboembolim, or blood clots.

Some of the other women who die from blood clots, have similar contraindications. Most of them have some of the risk factors. But disturbingly, some of the women who die from blood clots have no known risk factors.

All contraceptive medications and devices that contain oestrogen raise the risk of dying from blood clots. Depending on the pill or device, the risks are raised by 3 to 8 times. And for every women that dies, there is a larger number who survive, but have long term effects from the blood clot. And it’s not the only risk. Users also have higher rates of breast and cervical cancer. The combined oral contraceptive pill is actually classified as a group 1 human carcinogen by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), meaning that there is sufficient evidence that this chemical causes cancer in humans.

It’s more common side effects don’t paint a pretty picture either, nausea, headaches, weight gain, mood change, tiredness and breast tenderness. The side effects are one of the most common reasons that women stop taking the pill.

So why would we consider this contraceptive so essential for women, when it’s obviously not good for them. The risks of contraceptives are usually weighed against the risks of pregnancy and childbirth. This is a false comparison and an insult to women. It implies that women cannot stop themselves from getting pregnant without the pill. There are good alternatives, especially with modern natural fertility regulation, which is highly effective, and has no chemicals. But at the heart of the matter is an attitude which permeates our society from the bedroom, to the doctor’s office, right up to the halls of parliament. It’s the idea that women should be available for the sexual pleasure of men, and that’s considered so important that the deaths of a few women are considered an acceptable price to pay.

 

 

A spotlight on sexuality education

Family Planning are desperately trying to save face after the public have been appalled at the Association’s plan to release a sexuality resource for children aged 5 to 8 later this month.

The resource has drawn attention to the fact that “sexuality” is already included right through each year level of the health curriculum.  Even in Catholic schools “sexuality” education is compulsory, although parents do have the right to be informed and are given the option of removing their children from these classes.

In an effort to calm the waters, Family Planning’s Health Promotion Director, Frances Bird has used the old argument that “sexuality education is not sex education”.  According to 3 News, Bird said “We’re not talking about sex – the act of sex – at all.”

And that of course, is likely to be true when it comes to our five-year-olds.  The problem is, the content mostly becomes much less obviously disturbing at younger ages (although not in the case of the resource we are speaking of).  Unless parents are aware of what the terminology actually means, and how their children can be manipulated, it can be very easy to think that what is actually being discussed is simply harmless talk about getting along with each other, and our bodies.

What exactly is sexuality education?

According to the Ministry of Education’s 2002 document “Sexuality Education – Revised Guide for Principals, Boards of Trustees, and Teachers” the term “sexuality education” refers to the following:

The curriculum emphasises the holistic nature of sexuality education (which has physical, social, mental and emotional, and spiritual aspects) and defines “sex education” as relating only to the physical dimension of sexuality education.

Family Planning, when explaining the term to parents and caregivers, have a similar definition, expanding it slightly:

Comprehensive sexuality education is learning about:

  • the emotional, social, spiritual, physical and biological aspects of growing up
  • relationships
  • sex
  • human sexuality
  • sexual and reproductive health.

It involves young people in expanding knowledge, exploring attitudes and developing skills in order to lead fulfilling and healthy lives.

Family Planning supports and has developed an ‘age appropriate’ approach to sexuality (and relationships) education.  This means that programmes are developed in response to a child or young person’s stage or level of development.

So sexuality education in the eyes of those entrusted with our children’s care is to do with the whole person.  The term certainly gives opportunity to those who wish to deceive that it’s not all about sex, making it seem like anybody opposed are unnecessarily concerned.

One should consider who is the arbitrator of an “age appropriate” approach.  From family to family and from child to child the appropriateness of this sort of material is subjective.

Family Planning goes on to say:

Because sexuality education is much more than “the birds and the bees” it should start young. Normalising conversations about bodies, good and bad feelings, families and relationships and learning communication skills from a young age makes it ok for children to ask questions and build on their understanding as they mature.

The purpose of this resource and all sexuality education materials is to desensitise children from a very young age.  In this way, as a child grows, ideas, behaviours and situations that have once been seen as irregular, immoral and odd, bParts of the Bodyecome normal.

Take the following illustration.  This is a real example of a child’s work from Year 3 (ages 7 and 8).  The parents had been told that the child would be filling out the names of body parts, but that private areas would not be included.  Why is it necessary for the children to be scantily clothed?  Why are the children – a boy and a girl – holding hands?  The only answer can be to desensitise the children.

It must be noted that the teachers handing this worksheet out may not have been aware of the deep implications of doing so.  It is also true that many good teachers will go along with what a resource says because the people who put it together know what is best, as it is their area of expertise.  It should also be noted that the book from which this worksheet comes from is unknown.  It may not be a Family Planning resource.  But it is a good illustration of the type of material that can come before our children at school at a very young age.

Parents must also be aware that some teachers fully embrace the same ideology as Family Planning and they may choose to impart even more information than is required in the resource.

What does the Family Planning resource for Years 1 to 4 include?

According to the NZ Herald, the children at Year One (age 5) will learn the following:

  • Working together as a class to create a safe classroom environment
  • Discussing the meaning of respect and showing respect for others
  • Describing themselves and their relationships with others, including similarities and differences
  • Describing themselves in relation to their gender
  • Exploring and sharing ideas about friends and classmates
  • Using ‘I’ statements to express ideas and feelings
  • Identifying body parts, including sexual parts
  • Discussing changes to the body and ways to care for the body

There is much on the list to be concerned about.  Parents need to ask if this is something that our children need to know at such a young age.  Teachers, Principals and Boards of Trustees must seriously consider the appropriateness of these materials for the children in their schools before embarking on teaching this type of ideologically led propaganda.

What is Family Planning’s reasoning for needing this type of resource?

Family Planning’s reasoning behind the resource so far is two-fold.  Frances Bird has given two explanations over the weekend:

  1. “young people are being exposed to more media and materials”
  2. “if you start to build the foundation knowledge for them, by the time they do learn about it [sex], they’re less likely to have early sex, they have fewer partners, they have less sex as well.”

But both of these reasons are seriously flawed.

Countering graphic media and materials by providing more graphic media and materials defies logic.  The only true way to protect children’s innocence is to ban the showing of graphic media and materials to children.  That must include advertisements in print publications, magazine covers in supermarkets, tv advertisements, and online restrictions.  Providing resources such as the one Family Planning have produced only serves to feed the cycle.

As for the argument that earlier sexuality education will result in youth having fewer partners, have less sex and less likely to have early sex, one just needs to look at the evidence around to show how prolific teenage sexual activity is.  People need to be aware when reading comments like this, that Family Planning are only talking about sexual intercourse, young people can “fool around” just as much as they like, with whomever they like, and that will never be factored in to the statistics.

The more sex is placed in front of our children, the chances of them being able to resist diminish.  It is simple logic.

What can parents do?

It is absolutely critical that parents are fully aware of what is happening in their children’s schools and pre-schools.  There are resources out there already that many parents would be surprised to learn the content of.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • The first person to speak with is your child’s teacher.  Speak respectfully and with genuine questions to find out what is included in the classroom programme.
  • If, you discover that there are elements of the classroom programme that you are not satisfied with, and having discussed it with the classroom teacher, take your issue to the Principal.
  • Your final point of call at the school is the Board of Trustees.
  • Parents must bring this new resource to the attention of their classroom teachers, principals and Board of Trustees.  Tell them that you do not wish to have such a resource available in the school.
  • Withdraw your children from sexuality education classes.  A letter should be sent home informing you that these lessons will be taking place and the intended content.  You have a right to withdraw your child/ren.  You also have a right to teach your children about these matters in your own home, with your own values at the time you see fit.

While these suggestions may not completely protect your children (there is no telling what might be brought up in the playground, or in the classroom by the teacher outside of the health lessons), they are opportunities for you to be pro-active.

What can teachers and principals do?

Teachers, every day parents put their trust in you to teach and protect our children.  You have a massive influence on our children’s lives.  Many of you feel ill-equipped to teach the children in your care sexuality education.  Some of you may feel very uncomfortable about teaching this and you look to the various resources available for guidance on what to teach, parents understand that.

Please consider how sexuality resources may impact the children in your care.  Please consider how easily the innocence of children is lost in these days where so much is foisted upon them.  Consider how quickly our society is asking children to grow up.

Children, as you are aware, come from families.  Sometimes those families have many, many issues.  But families that face difficulties and neglect should not be the excuse for including sexuality education in our classrooms.  Most parents have the ability to teach their children about sexuality.  Our young children especially, do not need to be robbed of the innocence.

Please take the time to review your sexuality education programme.  Is it necessary to include all that you do within the classes?  Is there any way that you can involve parents?

Most importantly, please consult with the parents and caregivers in your school.  Find out how you can help them teach their children.  And please, do not purchase this Family Planning resource for your schools.

Conclusion

All those who work towards removing our children’s innocence, no matter how pleasantly they couch their rhetoric need to have their true agenda exposed.  Parents, teachers, priests, ministers and all people of good will must work together to keep organisations like Family Planning out of our schools, out of our youth programmes, out of our families.  We must work hard to ensure that our children’s innocence is protected for as long as possible.

Virtue and Public Policy

family planning conference 2013Chastity has had a bad press of late. It almost sounds like something that should have been left in the Victorian era. But it still has an important role now.

A great example of this is the role chastity had in Uganda to bring down its high HIV infection rates. In 1991 it was estimated that 15% of the population was HIV positive. By 2007 the rate had dropped to an estimated 6% of the population, a rate of decrease that was not shared by the neighbouring countries.

The campaign that brought about that reversal emphasized abstinence before marriage and “be faithful” during marriage. This brought about dramatic reductions in sex outside of marriage. Condom use also increased in the early years of the campaign, but only to the same level as neighbouring countries which didn’t see the same drop in HIV rates. In recent years the rates have risen slightly, despite the increasing number of condoms being given away for free. There has also been a general complacency about the epidemic, and reduction on the “be faithful” message.

If there is any doubt about the benefit of promoting chastity, you only need to look the other African countries. Most of Africa has high rates of HIV, with the highest rates in the world in the south. The northern African countries have some of the lowest HIV rates in the world. What’s the difference? The Muslim northern countries strongly discourage sex outside of marriage, and this condemnation of extra-marital sex comes from the government level right down to the personal level.

It’s such a clear and simple message. We know how these infections are spread, and a change in behaviour can stop the spread. However, chastity is opposed by a large and very well-funded ‘reproductive rights’ movement.

New Zealand’s Family Planning Association are holding their “Family Planning Conference 2013” at Te Papa in Wellington 31 October to 2 November.

The first keynote speaker is the President of Planned parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), Cecile Richards. Her topic is “Building a sexual and reproductive health movement”. Her organisation and its affiliates preform about 330 000 abortions a year, and distributes pornographic sex education resources to school children. Planned Parenthood’s growth since its founding has coincided with the growth in numbers of abortions, increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases, as well the emergence and spread of new sexually transmitted diseases. In recent years Planned Parenthood has closed some of its clinics, but continue to perform increasing numbers of abortions.

Chastity is our oldest and most effective tool for fighting sexually transmitted diseases. It protected us before we had comprehensive sex education, condoms, laboratory testing for infection, antibiotics, and modern antiviral therapy. If we would just give it a chance, it would protect our societies from sexually transmitted diseases again. Unlike pills and devices, it protects the heart and soul too.

“Jadelle” an answer to Child Abuse?

Dame Lesley Max, a children’s advocate made a call on Friday for better promotion of contraception in order to tackle child abuse. This call has been backed up by a Families Commission Report which says “There may be scope for targeting family planning education to parents who have had previous children removed.”

The issue of child abuse in New Zealand is a very significant and worrying one.  Yes, something needs to be done, and it needs to be done fast in order to save the lives of so many innocent children. 

It has been suggested that “Jadelle” would be a great contraceptive device to encourage woman to be fitted with.  The Families Commission has also suggested that this would be a suitable contraception for teenage mothers in order to prevent a second pregnancy.

Jadelle is a two rod implant (a second generation Norplant device).   Inserted into the arm it functions by releasing a low-dose progestin levonorgestrel into the woman’s (girl’s) body over a five year period.  The effect of this hormone being released into the body is three-fold:

  1. It inhibits ovulation;
  2. It thickens cervical mucus making it difficult for sperm to make it’s way to the ovum;
  3. It thickens the lining of the womb making implantation of the newly conceived baby difficult.

Rather than being a true contraceptive the Jadelle implant is an abortifacient, meaning that when the first two actions fail and a child is conceived the final action is for the womb to reject that child.  That is in itself an horrific child abuse.

It is concerning that a particular group is being targeted for the use of Jadelle or any other contraceptive or abortifacient device.  Margaret Sanger, the mother of the contraceptive movement was always keen to target those who were seen to be unfit parents.  Certainly people are making judgements about how fit those on welfare, or who are teens are to be parents.  These are the people being targeted at this time in New Zealand, and it seems that Jadelle is the preferred method of temporarily sterilizing them at this time.  (There have been calls from members of the public for actual sterilization of those on welfare).

This is akin to eugenics.  New Zealand must be very careful that we do not try to eradicate child abuse in this country by deciding who will be fertile or not.  When Norplant was first introduced to the American public (it is no longer available) a number of judges ordered woman to be fitted with the device because they had been convicted of abusing children.  (From Facts of Life by Brian Clowes – HLI). 

Women do not need contraception thrown at them with the idea that everything will then be all right.  The use of Jadelle will only put a sticking plaster over the problem, with new problems lurking underneath.

Those who work with families need to befriend those in need.  Everything in our world today has come down to policies and procedures which equals more paperwork and red tape.  People need people.  Human interaction and caring.  Families need practical support (whether they be large or small).  Mothers, fathers and children need people to whom they can talk to without fear of dire consequences (although those who are neglecting or hurting and killing their children must accept the consequencs of their actions – even if that means that their children are removed from their ‘care’ and they are jailed).  Families need true community.  Something that in the hustle and bustle of modern life we have forgotten.