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Using taxpayer dollars, PP of North Central Ohio received a $5,145 grant from the Morrow County, Ohio, Job/Family Services “Wellness Program Committee” Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) for the 2002-2003 fiscal year. PP is embarking on a new strategy aimed at increasing the number of teens using its services. Planned Parenthood is working with the school system there to pay teenagers $100 to be trained as “outreach workers.” They would then be paid an additional reward of $5 for every teenage client they recruit as a new PP customer.

“Under no circumstances should taxpayers be forced to subsidize Planned Parenthood’s efforts to promote teen sex,” said Ken Connor, president of Family Research Council. “The idea of paying teens to recruit other teens into Planned Parenthood’s grasp is unconscionable; doing it with taxpayer dollars is outrageous.” According to the U.S. Government Accounting Office, PP received more than $137 million in federal money during the 2001 fiscal year. “This week’s cover story in Newsweek, which details a significant rise in abstinent teens, shows the Bush administration is on the right track by promoting abstinence-only education,” Connor said. “Why then are we using tax dollars to promote Planned Parenthood’s culture of abortion and so-called ‘safe sex’? This latest scheme is more evidence, as if more were needed, why the 108th Congress should act decisively to de-fund Planned Parenthood,” Connor said. Ed Szymkowiak, national director of Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP), said that such misuse of taxpayers’ money “should enrage parents…One tactic Planned Parenthood has used in the past is to get kids interested in sex and then become contraceptive customers and …abortion customers, is to have sex education classes in the schools. But, in some areas, parents have been able to successfully mobilize and get Planned Parenthood kicked out of school systems.” Using teens to lure friends and classmates to its facilities allows the group to sidestep parents’ objections, Szymkowiak said. “They know that their name causes controversy so they’re going to do whatever they can to fly under the radar,” Szymkowiak said. By its own admission, Planned Parenthood has tried to keep parents from finding out about its activities. “[P]rinted advertising or public relations to announce the opening was not done,” the group’s northern Ohio affiliate wrote of its Cardington abortion clinic, “in order not to create or stir controversy from those who do [not] want Planned Parenthood to have a presence. We have quietly distributed referral cards, agency brochures, and fliers to area schools, guidance counselors, social service agencies and physicians, amongst other referral sources.” Szymkowiak noted that even Planned Parenthood’s grant application betrays its attitude toward abstinence education and parental rights. “It says, ‘Which of the following strategies does your proposal reflect?’ and there are ten choices listed,” he recalled. “You’ll notice that ‘abstinence programs’ are not checked off, and ‘activities to promote parent-child communication about responsible sexuality and/or parenthood’ are also not checked off…Planned Parenthood makes no money from getting teens to be abstinent. If they can get the kids on birth control, then they start making money…Planned Parenthood is a big business and this is a means of recruiting more customers for the business.”

[[email protected]; Family Research Council, 2Dec02; Congressional Bureau Chief; 3Dec02, Pro-Life e-news]