Investigative

Federal report: Planned Parenthood’s touted sex ed programs are a failure

The results of a five-year report from the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Adolescent Health show that a half billion dollars of spending and half a decade of work has failed to produce the effective sex education programs promised. In fact, a closer look at the data from the HHS office shows that in some cases, the federally-funded sex education programs helped contribute to an increase of pregnancy and sexual exploration in teenagers, while other programs didn’t impact behavior changes at all. While those supporting these sex education programs, including Planned Parenthood, have lauded the “evidence-based” curricula they provide, the results show evidence of widespread failure.

There has been one significant result, however: It’s allowed the abortion chain’s staff to have an entrance into public schools. Considering Live Action’s investigation into Planned Parenthood’s sexual advice for children, this is disturbing:

What is supposed to be “comprehensive sex ed” curricula that would reduce risky sexual behavior and reduce teen pregnancy has not delivered, as the summary report from HHS reveals. Among the Planned Parenthood recipients mentioned in the HHS report are Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, which received $477,790, and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, which received a whopping $4 million.

The most disturbing finding from the results of the $4 million that Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest received is the failure of the program to deliver as promised. This grant used the Teen Outreach Program (TOP) “evidence-based intervention.” However, the evaluation of the program revealed, among other things, that “TOP females reported becoming pregnant at a higher rate than females receiving the alternative program.”

But that was counter to the original goal presented in the program description:

Goal: To reduce teen pregnancy rates, decrease onset of sexual activity, increase contraception among sexually active youth, decrease academic failure and increase positive attitudes toward service and community engagement.

The HHS research abstract presented a research question it sought to answer at the conclusion of the $4 million dollar funding:

In the spring at the end of the program year, were TOP students less likely than CV students to report ever being pregnant or causing someone to be pregnant?

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The answer is a resounding no. The recently released report says:

After offering the program over nine months to middle and high school students during or after school, TOP youth were as likely as youth offered a four-hour alternative program, to report causing a pregnancy or becoming pregnant, having sexual intercourse, or having recent sexual intercourse without an effective method of birth control both immediately following the conclusion of the program, as well as in an assessment occurring 12 months later. However, TOP® affected males and females in the study differently. Immediately after the program, TOP males reported lower rates of causing pregnancies than males receiving the alternative program, whereas TOP females reported becoming pregnant at a higher rate than females receiving the alternative program.

Other Planned Parenthoods across the nation tout these same “evidence-based” sex education programs — the ones the HHS report shows were ineffective. The most notable is the influence in Texas schools, thanks to a partnership between the University of Texas School of Public Health (which received one of these grants) and Planned Parenthood, in a program for middle schoolers called It’s Your Game.

American Life League’s STOPP International has taken issue with It’s Your Game, as well, noting that the program, targeting middle schoolers, uses Planned Parenthood trainers — not the school’s educators — to teach the lessons. STOPP describes one of these lessons:

Entitled “Condom Platoon,” it is the saga of condoms that are used incorrectly by a young man named Marvin who has decided to have sex for the very first time with his girlfriend. Marvin and his girlfriend are “pretty serious” about each other, according to the video, and “they really care about each other.” It goes on to say that “one day, they might get married.” (Cue wedding bells in the background–really.) But for now, “they’ve decided they want to have sex, and they’re taking precautions so they don’t get pregnant, or get HIV or another sexually transmitted disease.”

But wait, how does a video like this—a video that shows two young people on the couch together apparently nude—encourage young tweens and teens to delay sexual activity as the parents were promised? The answer is obvious—it does not. It simply encourages children to do what Planned Parenthood promises parents it will discourage them from doing.

As STOPP notes, part of the concern for this game is the developers’ connections to the abortion chain:

All four developers of It’s Your Game have connections to Planned Parenthood, including being listed as “investigators” in a project that has the University of Texas Prevention Research Center (UTPRC) partnering with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in a project based on the theme, “From Healthy Children to Healthy Adults.”

And that’s how It’s Your Game found its way to the Austin, TX schools, as STOPP notes:

In Austin, LifeWorks partners with Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region and Austin Independent School District (AISD) in gobbling up a $2.9 million TPPI Tier 1 funding grant to implement the “REAL Talk” program. “REAL Talk” administers It’s Your Game: Keep It Real to seventh and eighth grade students and Reducing the Risk to ninth and tenth grade students attending AISD schools. TPPI is President Obama’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, and is funded by the federal government to the tune of $110 million.

The Austin Independent School District proudly presents this on its website:

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Austin ISD reports that one purpose of this program is “implementing evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs to scale in multiple settings and with vulnerable populations.”
But if the pregnancies are still occurring with no differences (or increases) in rate, then the question is, why is so much money being put into failing programs? Whether it’s Planned Parenthood or other entities, It’s Your Game isn’t showing the promised effectiveness. The elaborate game simply isn’t reducing teen pregnancy.
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It’s Your Game does provide some creative animations, such as this one, in which students play a game and try to understand the consequences of unprotected sex, leading to pregnancy. The game makers, apparently, think pregnancy is a terrible “social consequence” that produces bondage.

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Overall, the Obama Administration’s teen pregnancy reduction efforts seem to have done nothing for pregnancy rates except increase them in some cases, while opening the door for Planned Parenthood to present its agenda to vulnerable teens and tweens, perhaps making them customers for life.

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