For Immediate Release: February 26, 2019
Contact: Diane Gramley 1.814.271.9078
Second Venango County School District Says ‘No’ to Planned Parenthood Partner
(Franklin, PA) Four Venango County schools have been approached by Planned Parenthood partner AccessMatters to set up “health resource centers” in their high schools. The American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), a statewide pro-life, child advocacy organization, has sent two mailings into the county to educate tax payers on the history of AccessMatters and its partnership with Planned Parenthood and created online petitions for Venango County residents to sign in opposing AccessMatters plan for the county. The AFA of PA has also sent letters to each of the districts’ superintendents expressing concern about the proposal. Last night the Oil City Area school board voted to not allow AccessMatters and its local liaison Youth Alternatives to make a presentation to the board.
“Oil City’s decision last night is another victory for the county following the one earlier this month by the Valley Grove school board. The statistics do not warrant allowing Planned Parenthood partner AccessMatters to set up ‘health resource centers’ in the high schools. Allowing them access to students would create more problems then solve. We are thankful that the school boards of Valley Grove and Oil City saw this and did not buy into this ‘free’ offer by the PA Department of Health and AccessMatters,” remarked Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA.
Gramley continued, “Too many times schools just look at the word ‘free’ and don’t consider the real world consequences and negative impact the ‘free offer’ will have on their students. Handing out condoms and keeping information about their children from parents, as the confidential drop-in health resource centers would have done, is not good policy and we applaud Oil City and Valley Grove school boards for their decisions.”
In 2015 the PA Department of Health designated the county a “high need” area for “health resource centers.” According to the Department of Health, this was “determined by their high rates of teen pregnancy, gonorrhea, chlamydia, high school dropouts and binge drinking.” However, “Current State: 2017 Venango County Profile” shows Venango County is higher than the state’s average in only two categories of the five – teen pregnancy and binge drinking. Venango County had 31 teen pregnancies per 1,000 15 to 19-year-olds compared to the state average of 27 per 1,000. The binge drinking stats of 12.8 percent of students in grades 6 to 12 engaged in this activity compared to the state’s overall average of 7.8 percent were drawn from the self-reporting on the 2015 PA Youth Survey which is administered to 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders every other year.
“Our hope is Cranberry Area school board will also reject AccessMatters’ offer and that Franklin Area school board will reconsider their December decision to allow Planned Parenthood direct access to their students,” Gramley concluded.
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