(Editors note: This story has been corrected since it previously referred to the response from United Way as coming from United Way President Al Hatton, rather than United Way Ottawa’s Beth Green.)
OTTAWA, Ontario, June 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite announcements that United Way had cut funding to Planned Parenthood Ottawa’s sex-education programs, inquiries have confirmed that the organization is continuing to provide up to half of their previous funding.
In April, an official of the United Way in Ottawa confirmed Planned Parenthood’s Community Education program would not be funded because it “doesn’t align with what we’ve established as priority goals in area of children and youth.”
However, in response to recent inquiries, United Way Ottawa’s Beth Green confirmed the sex-education program would still receive up to half of previous funding this year.
“In 2010, we provided $47,281 to Planned Parenthood for their ‘Community Education Program’ (note we do not fund agencies per se, but we do fund their programs),” Green told Run with Life in a letter seen by LifeSiteNews.
According to Green, the Vice President of Communications at United Way Ottawa, United Way has begun “sharpening” their focus to “achieve clear, measurable goals.” Despite cutting Planned Parenthood’s Community Education Program from their list of agencies that support the “achievement of these goals,” United Way will provide them with “transition funding” at “50 percent or less of the previous year’s funding.”
“To the best of my knowledge, we are not funding any programs that have as a mandate the procurement of abortions,” added Green.
Planned Parenthood’s sex-education workshops offer children and youths information on contraception and sexually transmitted infections and are presented to 3,800 Ottawa area young people annually.
“We are very disappointed … It’s a challenging blow,” Heather Holland, executive director of Planned Parenthood in Ottawa told the Ottawa Citizen about the funding cut in April.
United Way spokesman Lawrence Greenspon, chairman of the United Way’s Community Services Cabinet, had explained that following a 5-year study by local experts, staff, and volunteers, the agency overhauled its funding management and decided on two main priorities: helping preschoolers, through parenting and early-literacy programs, and supporting children in what the agency calls the “critical hours” after school, through homework clubs and other after-school programs.
The reasoning behind United Way’s strategy is that success at school will help young people avoid the risks inherent in becoming sexually active.
United Way has been a long time supporter of Planned Parenthood and abortion in general. Planned Parenthood Ottawa names United Way, along with the City of Ottawa and The Ontario Trillium Foundation, as generous funders on their website.
LifeSiteNews contacted United Way for comment, but did not hear back by press time.