Newsbreak

Controversy erupts as Texas high school blocks Planned Parenthood from student computers

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Houston Independent School District in Texas is under fire after a student at Lamar High School discovered that the district blocked access to PlannedParenthood.org, the National Abortion Federation’s ProChoice.org, and other pro-abortion websites on its Wi-Fi network, the Houston Press reports.

“Access Denied,” read the message Grace Wells received. “The site you are attempting to visit is blocked because it belongs to the following category: Abortion.” Not blocked, however, was ProLifeAcrossAmerica.org.

HISD initially told the Houston Press that “district policy is in line with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act,” which requires schools to block minors from seeing content of a pornographic or otherwise harmful nature. CIPA’s text does not specifically mention abortion, but Planned Parenthood has encouraged minors to view pornography in consultations caught on hidden camera and on Teenwire.com.

In response to further media inquiries and pressure from Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, HISD claims their policy is to block both pro- and anti-abortion content for elementary students, but allow it for middle and high school students. “IT will be reviewing internet filters for student accounts to ensure all settings are in compliance with district policy,” they promise in a statement.

Wells feels the district is doing a disservice to its students, in large part because “97 percent of their business is not related to abortion […] It’s a medical resource, an informational resource, and there’s a ton of information on their website that we’re not allowed to see on campus that would be extremely helpful to us.”

However, that percentage is calculated by weighing abortions equally with far less expensive or elaborate services, such as pap smears or picking up birth control. More recent figures suggest that 94 percent of pregnant women entering Planned Parenthood receive abortions, which are rising as the amount of adoption referrals, prenatal care, and tests for other medical conditions have declined in recent years. Planned Parenthood does about 30 percent of all U.S. abortions, according to their latest annual report, which makes them the largest abortion provider in the country.

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