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The Marriage Wars: Should ad be in high school handout?
Oct 22, 2011 | 836 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
His: Mark Gray

A Davis County high school has an interesting “handout” available to students and parents: a pocket athletic schedule printed and sponsored by three parties including – and this is where it get interesting – Planned Parenthood.

On one side are the dates and times of football and volleyball games. On the other side an address and telephone number for “confidential and affordable” services at the Ogden clinic.

I am not opposed to Planned Parenthood, though I’m not sure I agree wholeheartedly with its slogan proclaiming it as a “responsible choice for a healthier life.” In low-income urban areas or hardscrabble rural areas, Planned Parenthood might be the only affordable avenue for women’s reproductive health services. Neither do I think high school students should be shielded from knowing the purpose and direction of the organization.

But I wonder if the principal is aware of Planned Parenthood’s “advertising” in the school office. Would a neo-Nazi group be given the same right to communicate with students?

In the most recent Utah Legislature, there was vibrant debate about the proposal to allow advertising on school buses. The discussion centered not on the concept of advertising, but on the type of ads deemed acceptable. From the debate, it is obvious that the state’s elected leaders would have heartburn over allowing Planned Parenthood to advertise on a school bus.

I personally don’t have misgivings over the business card ad in the school athletic schedule, but it does open up the tent for other noxious organizations or products to be “sold” to students.

Hers: Dawn Brandvold

Few things have made me chuckle like the Planned Parenthood sponsorship proudly displayed on the back of a local high school’s fall sports schedule. In the same summer that an underwear store in Kaysville and a billboard in North Ogden caused a stir, there is something delightful that Planned Parenthood could advertise at a Davis County school and so far, not one parent has written a letter to the editor or picketed the school office.

Is someone on the morality police asleep? Or did parents and administrators finally get some common sense? Trust me, no one is going to run out and be sexually active based on a tiny ad on the football schedule, but if they are, the free or cheap contraceptives from Planned Parenthood are a better option than a 15-year old having a baby.

Comparing Planned Parenthood to a “Neo-Nazi” organization is reactionary at best. Millions of young women use Planned Parenthood as a responsible source of information and contraceptive advice. Health insurance coverage of contraceptive has been woefully insufficient. Sadly, not long ago it was easier to find insurances that would pay for Viagra before they would pay for birth control.

Take a look at the typical high school football program. There are all kinds of ads for fast food places hardly providing healthy lifestyle choices. One year there was an ad from a bail bondsman – not exactly the type of business we want teens to take advantage of! If we were worried about our kids’ safety, we wouldn’t let a Verizon ad appear. It could be argued that cell phone use while driving is much riskier behavior to the average Davis County teen than premarital sex.

I’m not saying that high school kids should rush out to Planned Parenthood and become sexually active, but their sponsorship of the football schedule isn’t a cause for alarm either. Last time I checked, every service offered at Planned Parenthood is legal.

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