WASHINGTON, D.C. – Planned Parenthood is moving its headquarters – directly between two schools in Northeast Washington, D.C.
Protesters have already lined up to voice their objections to Planned Parenthood’s newest location sandwiched between Two Rivers Public Charter School’s elementary and middle school campuses in the 1200 block of Fourth St., NE, The Washington Post reports.
“Does anyone really believe placing a Planned Parenthood facility literally between two schools is a wise decision for the safety of our children?” Two Rivers parent Jonathan Owen questioned. “Protests at abortion facilities are very heated, personal, and can turn physically violent.”
Owen also believes the clinic’s “in your face” presence is offensive to Two Rivers parents and families that oppose abortion.
But instead of discussing the appropriateness of the new facility, which will open in the spring to offer preventative care and abortions, school officials are doing their best to accommodate their new neighbor.
“Tony Goodman, a parent at Two Rivers and also an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, said the school and clinic are working to mitigate potential harm from future unrest,” according to the Post. “For example, he said, the Jan. 22 anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that made abortion a legal right, is scheduled to be a teacher work day.”
The protests started last month.
Protesters gathered outside the facility during two parent-teacher conference days in the week leading up to school, and parents are concerned about how their children might react to the often graphic signs and messages detailing the evils of abortion.
“Several protesters with graphic images” voiced their opposition outside of the construction zone Aug. 27, school executive director Jessica Wodatch wrote in a letter to parents the same day, and school officials are now working with police to increase security in the area.
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“We are frustrated that we cannot protect you and your children from images and language that you may not deem appropriate for them,” Wodatch wrote, according to the Post. “What we can offer is that we will be relentless in doing all we can to address this problem.”
Wodatch said Two Rivers teachers will refer student questions about abortion to parents, but will offer “age-appropriate” responses like “Some people don’t like the organization that is moving in next door and want to share their feelings through protesting.
“Sometimes that protesting may bother us because they are yelling or showing confusing or upsetting pictures,” Wodatch wrote. “Those messages are meant for grown-ups, and not for you.”
Two Rivers is among the most popular D.C. charter schools, with a current wait list of 1,381 children. Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington president Laura Meyers told the Post it took two years to locate a site to relocate the abortion provider’s national headquarters, which is currently located on 16th street, just blocks from the White House, the Post reports.
Meyers alleges Planned Parenthood abortion clinics operate near a lot of schools, and “enjoy strong partnerships” through lessons about reproductive health.
Former abortion clinic manager Carol Everett explained to EAGnews last year how, exactly, abortion providers like Planned Parenthood leverage those relationships to drum up business, starting with subtle sex education lessons aimed at kindergartners.
“We went to the schools as early as kindergarten,” Everett said of her years working in the industry. During those sessions, sex ed instructors “are planting the seed (in student’s minds) that parents don’t know what they are talking about.”
Eventually, by fifth or sixth grade, reproductive health instructors have fostered a strong “parents don’t understand you” mentality in students while simultaneously encouraging students to explore their sexuality, Everett said.
“That’s when we gave them the low-dose birth control we know they’ll get pregnant on,” Everett said. The pills must be taken at exactly the same time every day, something those administering the pills know is very difficult, if not impossible, for most teens, she said.
“It’s more deceptive than people realize,” Everett said. “The abortion industry sells and re-sells their product.
“Our goal was three to five abortions per student for every student we could get.”