Thursday, September 17, 2009

Could the Largest Provider of Abortions Be In Charge of Your Students' Health Care?

by Sheena McAdoo

A little-known provision in the health care reform legislation would create sweeping changes to our nation's public schools and put students at risk of receiving "health services" by none other than the largest provider of abortions in the U.S., Planned Parenthood.

The House version of health care reform legislation, H.R. 3200, contains a provision near the end entitled "School-Based Health Clinics" (Section 2511, pp. 992-1000). According to the legislation (p. 999), federal grants will be awarded to "sponsoring facilities," which may include a community health center, a nonprofit health care agency, or even a local educational agency. Under this description, Planned Parenthood would certainly qualify as a sponsoring facility to provide "health care" to your children in school.

These school-based health clinics will provide "comprehensive primary health services and additional health services" (p. 994), which may include "age-appropriate health education services" (p. 998). This language, as the American Center for Law and Justice puts it "leaves wide open the possibility that Planned Parenthood's federally-funded school-based health clinics would be permitted to provide abortion services."

Furthermore, the bill also assures that federal HIPAA guidelines will be adhered to (p. 993), which may mean that no information may be shared with parents unless the student authorizes it. Therefore, parental rights may be usurped under the guise of "patient privacy." As stated by the American Family Association, parents may "never know what kind of counsel and medical treatment their child has received by the time he gets home from school."

Act Today:
Please contact your Senators and Representatives and urge them to oppose H.R. 3200 and any other health care proposal which provides for Planned Parenthood to be given any authority to set up school-based health clinics in America's public schools, paid for with our tax dollars.

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