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Culture Challenge of the Week: Parents Barred From Influence Over Sex

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Parenting is tougher than it used to be. And if California is any indication, parents may soon have to fight for the right to exercise any influence--not to mention authority--over their children's sexual behaviors.

Last week news spread of a unique partnership between Planned Parenthood and the Los Angeles Unified School District--Planned Parenthood now runs a "health" clinic on the school grounds of Roosevelt High School, serving mostly teens from low-income, Latino families. Most of the teen visits to the Planned Parenthood health clinic last year were for, you guessed it, "reproductive services" paid for by a government program, of course. While the Planned Parenthood clinic apparently doesn't do abortions on school premises, it takes little imagination to envision the direction their supposedly non-judgmental counseling will take for girls who do become pregnant.

And you can be sure that Roosevelt High School's teens will continue to get pregnant. Why delay or avoid sexual intercourse, when peer sex-counselors (trained by Planned Parenthood) sit at your lunch table, the pill can be picked up between classes, and STD meds are available just down the hall? Planned Parenthood's on-campus presence ensures a steady diet of contraceptive pills, patches, and shots delivered to teens as young as 13, without their parents' knowledge or consent.

Mom and dad send their kids to school to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic. But the school day now is likely to include sexual how-to's and the contraceptive props to make it all possible-all before lunch. And parents will have no clue what's being said or delivered, and no power to prevent it.

In fact, California law already ensures that teens can receive contraceptives and abortions without parental notice. But Planned Parenthood's on-the-premises availability means that parents will have even less chance to protect their children from the influence of sex and abortion peddlers. Plus, the abortion provider's tie-in with the school sanctions the Planned Parenthood brand of sexual morality and stamps government approval on the pro-abortion message. All in the name of protecting teens.

What's next, I wonder? On-campus "safe rooms" for lunch or after-school trysts?

After all, the kids are going to do it anyway. Why force them into the back seats of cars or empty apartments, where youth dating violence is more likely to occur? Surely student safety would demand that schools provide clean, accessible, "youth-friendly," environments where students can exercise their sexual rights, free from parental snooping or control. It's one stop shopping, too: pick up condoms on the way in or the "morning after pill" on the way out. Bet it would reduce the drop-out rate, too--Who knew school could be this much fun?

How to Save Your Family: Take the Reins in Sex Ed

Parents are right to resist government efforts to shape our kids' sexual perspectives. California's model--bringing Planned Parenthood literally inside the school walls--is likely to be replicated elsewhere as governments flounder about seeking ways to reduce teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Their approach will fail: Planned Parenthood has strong financial incentives to stoke demand for their services--contraceptives, abortions, and STD treatments-by promoting sex without moral context.

It's up to us to take the reins of our child's sex education, to deliver the right messages about sex.

When was the last time you engaged your child in a conversation about sex? Sex ed is not a once-and-done plumbing lesson but an ongoing effort to provide context and moral guidance according to your child's knowledge, maturity level, and experiences.

Do you know what your child knows-or doesn't know? Has your child heard the beautiful message that sex is the loving expression of faithful, committed marital love? Does your child appreciate its power and significance? Does he or she know that the meaning of sex implies that sexual behavior outside of marriage is wrong? That it can injure us spiritually, emotionally, and even physically? And that some kinds of sexual behavior are degrading and always wrong?

It's our God-given parental responsibility-and privilege--to shape our child's vision of sexuality. Don't cede control to teachers, nurses, or clinic workers who not only don't know your child but also won't provide any moral context for the sexual messages they deliver.

Take the opportunity this summer to continue your child's sexual education, under your roof, according to your values!

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