READING, Pa. – The Reading school board voted down a proposed health center at Reading High School in large part because it would have been run by Planned Parenthood.
Dozens of protesters and supporters lined up in front of the district’s administration building Wednesday shortly before the school board voted 5-4 to deny the health resource center for Reading High School, WFMZ reports.
The health center would have offered counseling and sex advice to students, but those opposed to the plan were uneasy about the abortion providers participation.
“The concern that we have is that we can’t trust Planned Parenthood-Keystone,” parent Beth Rahal told the news site.
Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale said he traveled to Reading, in Berks County, to stand with the opposition.
“I felt that this issue was so important that it was worth making the trip to Berks County because it comes to our youth,” Gale said. “What your youth should not be learning is that abortion is a form of birth control.”
Several school board members discussed why they voted “no” on the plan during Wednesday night’s school board meeting.
Board member Eddie Moran said he voted against the measure because he believes the health center could distract from the district’s focus on academics, WFMZ reports.
“I believe the primary concern should be educating academically,” he said.
Board members Jean Kelleher and Brian Buerke both cited a lack of “due diligence” in vetting other available programs aside from the AccessMatters program run by Planned Parenthood.
Board member Bernardo Carbajal also noted that there’s already a nearby Planned Parenthood center teens can visit if they wish.
“I do not believe the compelling need exists,” he said.
Planned Parenthood-Keystone, meanwhile, took shots at the opposition and alleged protestors against the proposal consisted of out-of-towners who “don’t care” about local youth.
“Let’s be clear: These protestors don’t care about our children or our neighborhoods. They’re not from Reading. They’re out-of-town bullies who used this vote to pursue a narrow political agenda without any care in the world for the young lives their actions affect,” the agency wrote in a prepared statement.
“When these opponents finally go home, we’ll still be here doing what we always have — fighting to improve students’ chances of completing school, staying safe and healthy, and obtaining a brighter future.”
Jane Palmer, a protestor who said she had no ties to the district, trekked to Reading to protest in favor of the Planned Parenthood health center and alleged those opposed are playing politics.
“Planned Parenthood is kind of a red herring, honestly,” Palmer groaned. “The opposition has chosen to target them because they’re everyone’s favorite target.”
The target on the abortion provider is largely of its own making after officials were recorded on video discussing the sale of aborted baby parts. The grizzly discovery turned many folks off from Planned Parenthood and renewed calls to defund the largely government-subsidized outfit.
LifeNews’ Jim Sedlak reports:
Without belaboring the obvious, let me just recount the fact that Planned Parenthood has imploded over the last two decades. It has gone from 938 medical facilities to 600 facilities over this time period, with a consequential loss of over 740,000 annual customers.
Its political fortunes have not fared any better as it has lost one major race after another over the last eight years, culminating in the catastrophic loss of the presidential election last November when it became apparent that it is completely out of step with the American public. And, of course, earlier this month it came within a single vote (in Congress) of losing over $500 million in taxpayer funding.
EAGnews has also documented Planned Parenthood’s toxic involvement in schools across the country, from parents fighting against its sex ed lessons in Washington state, to anal sex lessons for sixth graders in Las Vegas, to complaints about LGBTQ focused curriculum in St. Louis, among numerous others.