Students at a Tacoma, Washington, middle school recently received Planned Parenthood flyers telling them they can get an abortion without notifying their parents and can legally have sex at age 11.
A school official says the flyers were distributed by mistake.
The controversy was first reported by the Jason Rantz Show, which said the flyer was posted on social media by a concerned parent. The flyers were given to eighth-graders at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma.
The flyer explains what is legal and illegal for children and teens involving sex in Washington state. On abortion, the flyer says: “You do not need to get permission from your parent or guardian at any age.” On condoms, it says: “You can buy condoms at any age.” On the Plan B emergency contraceptives, it says: “You can buy Plan B emergency contraception at a local pharmacy without a prescription at any age.” (Plan B can work after fertilization.) It also tells children and teens, “You are allowed to get a prescription for birth control without your parent or guardian’s permission.”
8th graders at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma, Wash. were given flyers telling them they could get abortions without parental consent. Parents are rightly outraged. I discussed on @foxandfriends with @ainsleyearhardt. pic.twitter.com/LSHFaoaBnE
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) June 28, 2021
Rantz criticized not only the school but the purpose behind the flyer.
“Anything that tells kids they don’t have to talk to loving parents or guardians, particularly on serious issues like abortion or birth control, should never find its way to a child,” Rantz wrote at MyNorthwest.com.
Further, the flyer also includes detailed information about the legal age of consent. An 11-year-old, the flyer says, can “have sex with somebody 2 years older or less.” A minor who is 12- and 13-years-old can “have sex with somebody who is 3 years older or less.” Minors who are 14- and 15-years-old can “have sex with somebody who is 4 years older or less,” the flyer says.
The district’s assistant director of secondary education Eric Hogan said the flyer was given to students by mistake.
“The flyer is not part of our curriculum and should not have been sent home with students,” Hogan said in an email.
Hogan added, “Previously, Planned Parenthood taught within our schools and supplied the flyer that was distributed to students. We discovered a binder of curriculum materials was left behind for an incoming teacher to use for this year, and this flyer was in the binder. Not realizing the flyer wasn’t approved material, the teacher sent it home with students.”
Rantz, though, said the district should have no involvement with Planned Parenthood.
“That Planned Parenthood representatives were even allowed on campus shows poor institutional judgment from the district,” Rantz wrote. “I suppose we should not be that shocked that this flyer was handed out.”
Photo courtesy: Jeswin Thomas/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.