‘Dear Abby’ got it wrong: Planned Parenthood is not a safe haven for teens

A woman recently wrote a letter to the advice column “Dear Abby” with a personal dilemma involving her teenage stepdaughter. The stepmother wanted to know if she should tell her husband the truth about the girl’s sexual activity. Dear Abby’s unfortunate advice is to keep the secret and send the girl to Planned Parenthood.

The problem “Struggling Stepmom” was dealing with was that her stepdaughter “Amelia” confided in her that she had become sexually active with her boyfriend. Amelia did not want her stepmother to tell her father or mother, so her stepmother promised not to tell — and then scheduled an appointment for Amelia to see an OB/GYN to get birth control.

The letter can be read in full here, but essentially, Struggling Stepmom assured Abby that Amelia had a close relationship with her father. She said the girls’ parents have a good relationship with each other and she was unsure if she should keep the girl’s secret.

READ: New analysis: Comprehensive sex ed in schools may actually be harming students

“My question is, should I tell my husband?” the stepmom wrote. “I feel awful not telling him, but she has told me she doesn’t want either of her parents to know. I’m grateful she comes to me for things like this, but eventually, it’s going to come out when my husband sees the explanation of benefits from the insurance.”

Abby’s response was to send Amelia to Planned Parenthood and then to encourage her to talk to her parents. Abby said, “She is behaving responsibly in wanting to protect herself.”

But this reply completely missed the mark.

The girl wasn’t “wanting to protect herself”

This young girl had already become sexually active before going to an adult in her life with this decision. It was only then that her stepmother scheduled an appointment for the teen for birth control. Birth control will not protect against STDs. Abby noted that Planned Parenthood would diagnose and treat STDs but failed to mention anything about prevention of STDs. (Shouldn’t that be the goal?) Abby also noted that Planned Parenthood helps with “family planning […] and birth control” — in other words: Abby seems to be encouraging a visit to Planned Parenthood instead of an OB/GYN because abortion is available at Planned Parenthood, and might not be at the OB/GYN’s office. Planned Parenthood, after all, is the place where the teen could get an abortion with no questions asked and no parental involvement.

None of this came at the request of the young teen, however, which shows she wasn’t the one looking to “protect herself” while engaging in sexual activity at age 17.

A good relationship with her parents

Planned Parenthood is quick to legally challenge parental consent laws regarding abortion, claiming that they are harmful to girls who live in abusive homes. But clearly, this isn’t the case with Amelia. Her stepmother states that Amelia has a good relationship with her father. However, at Planned Parenthood, she would likely get birth control and abortion without any adult in her life knowing about it — both of which come with risks.

While Planned Parenthood claims it wants to protect girls from abuse by ending parental consent laws, the abortion corporation actually has a history of attempting to come between parents and their children, as well as a history of protecting sexual abusers in order to benefit financially. Time and time again, the abortion corporation commits abortions on sexual abuse victims and sends those victims back to their abusers without reporting the crime as legally required. These girls, some as young as 12, then have two abusers: the men who are sexually assaulting them and the Planned Parenthood workers who failed to report the abuse and save the girl when given the chance. The girls were used for their bodies twice — once for sex and once for money.

In addition, Advocates for Youth, which works with Planned Parenthood, actually initiated a study using birth control on girls as young as 11. The study was confidential, which means the girls’ parents likely never knew. Meanwhile, there isn’t a single state in the U.S. in which an 11-year-old can legally consent to sex.

In reality, Amelia may have turned to her stepmother not out of an abundance of trust or love but with the knowledge that her parents would have been more protective of her. Her parents might have actually expressed disapproval about her choice to become sexually active had she approached them. They might have discussed all of the concerns of teen sex and spoken to her about the reasons to wait. The stepmom feels good that this girl came to her, but was she actually being used?

Dangers of birth control

Abby and the stepmom are also overlooking the dangers of birth control for young girls. Birth control comes with serious side effects including blood clots and stroke — side effects often downplayed for the purpose of making sure girls don’t get pregnant.

Ally Givens, Brittany Malone, and Alex Rowan are just three of the countless women who have suffered blood clots after beginning birth control. Tragically, these young women did not survive.

No one should come between a child and her loving parents, least of all an organization known to perpetuate abuse and take advantage of young girls as Planned Parenthood has done. “Dear Abby” got it wrong. Sending Amelia to Planned Parenthood isn’t sending her to a safe haven; it’s sending her to a predatory organization focused on profit and not on her well-being.

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