TEMPE, Ariz. -- In a meeting that's expected to be heated, Planned Parenthood will make a presentation to Tempe Union High School District's Sexual Education Curriculum Committee.
While the content of the presentation is not known, the fact that Planned Parenthood is even making it has some people up at arms.
"Planned Parenthood of Arizona is scheduled to advocate for representatives to present sex education to students, which may violate state law requiring preference be given to childbirth and adoption, not abortion," according to a news release from a group call Alliance Defending Freedom.
The group sent a letter to the district requesting time for "speakers to present alternative programs that encourage and support childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion. "
According to the public agenda, Vicki Hadd-Wissler, the director of education at Planned Parenthood, will have 90 minutes for her presentation.
Planned Parenthood has not commented on Tuesday's meeting, but others have had plenty to say.
"Schoolchildren have the right to a positive education that is not dictated by Planned Parenthood’s abortion marketing campaign," ADF attorney Natalie Decker said in a news release.
"Planned Parenthood should not be allowed access to public school classrooms to promote its pro-abortion message and to advocate for dangerous sexual behavior to Tempe schoolchildren," ADF senior counsel Michael J. Norton concurred.
According to ADF, allowing Planned Parenthood into Tempe's high-school classrooms might be illegal.
Under Senate Bill 1009, which went into effect in April 2012, "no Arizona school district 'may allow any presentation during instructional time or furnish any materials to pupils as part of any instruction that does not give preference, encouragement and support to childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion.'"
Planned Parenthood promotes what it calls comprehensive sex education.
"Comprehensive sex education covers the wide array of topics that affect sexuality and sexual health. It is grounded in evidence-based, peer-reviewed science," reads PlannedParenthood.org's page on implementing sex education. "The goals of comprehensive sex education are to help young people gain a positive view of sexuality and to provide them with developmentally appropriate knowledge and skills so that they can make healthy decisions about their sex lives now and in the future. Medically accurate sex education is an investment in our children’s future — their well-being."
Parents are sharing their opinions, as well.
"I think it's a great idea," one father told 3TV's Jill Galus Tuesday morning. "I think kids should know what's going on with sex and the reality of the situation."
"I think education in that space needs to be very visible for our youth," another father said. "Regardless of my person morals on any issue, I think that education needs to be done for all youth."
"I think it's awesome," said one mother who happens to teach sex ed in the Phoenix Union High School District. "The more information they [the students] can get, the better."
In a letter to the TUHSD board, Jason Walsh, the executive director of Arizona Right to Life, said he was "dismayed" to hear about the Planned Parenthood's presentation.
"I sincerely trust you have the intellectual and moral integrity to make decisions that help honor human life because Planned Parenthood most certainly does not," he wrote. "Please do not allow Planned Parenthood representatives into any Tempe high school. Planned Parenthood has a radical agenda that openly promotes both sexual promiscuity and abortion on demand. You have a responsibility to the parents and students of Tempe to act in accordance with what is noble, just and true."
The meeting, which starts at 4:30 p.m., is at the Tempe Union High School District office, 500 W. Guadalupe Road, Tempe. Hadd-Wissler's presentation is slated to begin at 5 p.m.
Those wishing to comment will have three minutes to do so.
Walsh said there would be "a peaceful presence of pro-life men and women" at the meeting, as well.
Tempe Union High School District is comprised of seven schools with a total enrollment of more than 13,600 students. The district employs more than 680 full-time teacher and more than 50 part-time teachers.
- Tempe High
- Marcos de Niza
- Corona del Sol
- Mountain Pointe
- Desert Vista
- Compadre Academy