AFA of PA ACTION ALERT
February 6, 2019
Venango County and AccessMatters/Planned Parenthood
Most, if not all of you, recently received a mailing from the AFA of PA outlining the fact that Philadelphia-based Access Matters and the PA Department of Health have or plan to approach four school districts in Venango County about allowing a “health resource center” within the districts high schools. According to a January 16th Derrick article: Magee Women’s Specialty Center-UPMC Northwest and Youth Alternatives would be coordinating the AccessMatters/Department of Health programs for students ages 13-19 in the four school districts.
The Derrick article also notes, “The clinics function as confidential drop-in centers at the schools.” Meaning parents will not be informed as to what was discussed or distributed to their child. The article also states, “The counselors at the clinics are trained by AccessMatters.” Basically, schools would be allowing Planned Parenthood counselors access to your children!! The clinics would also “provide students with information on referrals to other health resources outside the schools.”
Unfortunately, on December 17th Franklin Area School board heard a presentation by Magee Women’s Specialty Center-UPMC Northwest and voted 6-2 to approve the ‘clinics’ that evening. Here’s the link to the board minutes, which were posted the day after we mailed our letter out.
As outlined in the letter, here’s what we know about AccessMatters from their website and Facebook page:
- Family planning, HIV and STD prevention and testing, breast and cervical cancer screening and prevention, teen pregnancy prevention, and condom distribution are just a few of the important programs we support.
- AccessMatters is committed to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and stands with Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers are valued community partners in the AccessMatters’ Network. AccessMatters has had the privilege of working with their committed and compassionate staff for over 40 years. Efforts to defund Planned Parenthood at the state and federal level are continuing. Efforts to defund Planned Parenthood at the state and federal level are continuing. AccessMatters is committed to combating these unwarranted attacks and to ensuring the full range of sexual and reproductive health care remain accessible . . . .
- Their January 22, 2019 Facebook post: “People’s sexual and reproductive health care are critical to their social and economic empowerment. On the anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, we remind ourselves that 46 years later, we are still working to protect access to all reproductive health options.”
- Their January 15, 2019 Facebook post after a Philly judge placed a nationwide injunction against the Trump Administration’s proposed rule that would have exempted Christian-owned businesses from being required to provide contraception coverage under Obamacare: “We are pleased with U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone’s decision to grant block these dangerous rules from taking effect. We also thank Attorney General Josh Shapiro for being a true champion in this fight to protect access to contraceptive coverage!”
The AFA of PA has contacted the school superintendents about our concerns. We have just created school district specific petitions and are asking folks to gather signatures at your churches (or elsewhere) over the next couple weeks. Petition signers do not have to have children in school, as taxpayers they are impacted also. Ask folks to sign the petition for the school district in which they live.
Please mail the petitions back to the AFA of PA (address is at the bottom of the petitions) by February 20th. By necessity, we are asking for a quick turnaround!
Here are the links to the four school district petitions – again have folks sign the petition for the school district in which they live.