For the past year, Texas has targeted Planned Parenthood by defunding the organization’s affiliates, forcing thousands of women to search for new doctors. Now, Texas Republican Senator Ken Paxton wants to prevent sex education classes in public schools from using any of Planned Parenthood’s instructional materials, claiming that the national women’s health organization places an “inappropriate emphasis on sexual freedom.”
Planned Parenthood has been the subject of many conspiracy theories ginned up by extreme anti-abortion groups. In a developing narrative by Texans who back Paxton’s measure, they claim Planned Parenthood can’t be trusted to provide sex education because the organization doesn’t want to “lose abortion business.” According to this new conspiracy theory, the clinic has a vested interest in convincing teenagers to have sex and get pregnant.
During a hearing this week on Paxton’s bill, Renate Sims of Round Rock told the Senate Education Committee she teaches her five children that “married sex and only married sex is appropriate.”
“Abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and their affiliates can’t possibly communicate this message effectively because of their inherent conflict of interest. If teenagers consistently viewed sex as something to be saved for marriage, Planned Parenthood would lose abortion business,” Sims said.
Although several of the speakers condemned how sex education is taught in specific districts, no supporter of Paxton’s bill provided examples of Planned Parenthood materials or information that has actually been used in schools.
Anti-abortion groups often target sex education programs for youth with the sole goal of targeting Planned Parenthood. The organization does not emphasize abstinence in its instructional materials because abstinence-only programs have been proven by numerous studies not to work.
Tara Culp-Ressler of Thinkprogress writes:
“Since GOP legislators stripped funding from family planning providers in the last budget cycle, about 280,000 low-income women will lose access to affordable birth control — which the state’s health department projects will lead to an estimated 23,760 additional births, costing taxpayers up to $273 million. And, of course, Texas’ lack of comprehensive sex ed requirements are likely directly contributing to the state’s high rates of teen pregnancy.”
The American Life League has long disseminated conspiracy theories about Planned Parenthood, with this latest addition being no exception.
Watch Michael Hichborn of the AFL in the video below.