OTTAWA, Ontario, June 11, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Muslims of a traditional bent hope that a lack of funding will force Planned Parenthood Ottawa to cut a program aimed at teaching their Muslim teenage daughters a version of “sexual health” that they say is contrary to their “faith-based values and family values.”
“Information and education is always good, but when it comes with a clear message of promoting a certain lifestyle which may be in conflict with both the faith-based values and family values [of Muslims] then I have an issue with it,” Shahina Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) in Canada, told LifeSiteNews.
Last year United Way reduced funding to Planned Parenthood Ottawa’s sex-education programs for young people. To keep the programs running this year, the abortion giant has appealed to the public in the hope of covering a $60,000 budget shortfall, or what amounts to a quarter of the organization’s budget.
One of Planned Parenthood Ottawa’s sex-education programs that may be cut was specifically tailored for Muslim teenage girls.
The creators of “Visiting ‘Girls Chat’” state that the “messages in mainstream sexual health education can sometimes be experienced as contradictory to the religious and/or cultural messages being received by young people at home. The Visiting Girls Chat project has involved the adaptation and tailoring of Planned Parenthood Ottawa’s sexual health programming to better suit the needs of a particular group in the community—Muslim girls.”
Pro-family organizations have repeatedly shown, however, that for Planned Parenthood “sexual health” for young people typically takes the form of the promotion of unrestricted sexual activity, of contraception as a way to pursue sexual activity separated from its natural outcome, and of abortion as a solution to failed contraception or an unplanned pregnancy.
“Young people are sexual beings,” states Planned Parenthood’s guidebook for teens titled ‘Exclaim: Young People’s guide to Sexual Rights’. The guide states that it is “important for all young people around the world to be able to explore, experience and express their sexualities in healthy, positive, pleasurable and safe ways.”
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In the guide for teens, contraception is enshrined as a “right” of “every young person” and the organization advocates for the “removal of laws that require parental, guardian or spousal consent, which prevent young people from accessing effective contraceptive services.”
Planned Parenthood also writes that it considers abortion a legitimate “pregnancy option” and also enshrines accessibility to that option as a woman’s right.
Siddiqui told LifeSiteNews that she was “flabbergasted” by the values that Planned Parenthood was passing onto Muslim girls through the outreach program. She said that the organization’s vision for healthy sexuality is the “polar opposite of our values.”
“There are very strong values around sexual morals within Islam,” she explained.
“Sexuality can only be expressed within a marital relationship. Sex outside of marriage or before marriage is forbidden. Sex can only be enjoyed between a husband and a wife.”
“It’s one of the major principles in our faith and this is what we teach our young children,” she said, adding, “I don’t know of a single Muslim organization that is backing [Planned Parenthood’s program].”
Planned Parenthood Ottawa says that the program was developed with the help of a “youth co-facilitator from the Somali community in Ottawa” and with the collaboration of the “Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, who has significant numbers of Muslim-identified clientele.”
Siddiqui said that if Muslim girls are accessing the Planned Parenthood program it is simply a sign that “they have been failed at the family level, or at the community level [such] that they could not turn for help or ask and be counseled in our own value system.”
“But you don’t cover up one mistake with another,” she said.