The Biden administration has been accused of encouraging sex education materials that advise professionals from organizations such as Planned Parenthood on how to discuss sexual health with teens, potentially without parental knowledge. This initiative is part of the National Adolescent Health Month, organized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Population Affairs.
One of the document’s key focuses is the issue of maintaining confidentiality when communicating with teens through remote consultations. It suggests strategies like ensuring the minor’s own phone is used, reassuring about privacy, and offering flexible scheduling for virtual visits. The guide also offers suggestions for assessing whether the minor is alone during the consultation, and encourages staff to explain to parents the need for some private discussion time with the teen.
The guide also includes advice directly from minors, including tactics for maintaining privacy, like taking calls in secluded locations such as bathrooms or cars, and using headphones to prevent others from overhearing the conversation. Additionally, it provides inventive methods for delivering contraceptives to minors, which include mail delivery in unmarked packages, curbside pickup at community locations, and mobile van deliveries.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs and Director of the Office of Adolescent Health, Jessica Marcella, defended these suggestions, asserting they’re meant to enhance the role of youth-serving professionals and adults. Critics, however, view this as an attempt to override parental influence and impose radical values on children. Mary Szoch, Director of the Family Research Council Center for Human Dignity, criticized the initiative, accusing the Biden administration of intending to replace the family unit with a “village.”
These concerns are further exacerbated by recent statements from President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who all seem to uphold the belief that children belong to society at large. Critics argue that these statements display a disregard for parental rights and a predilection for government interference in crucial aspects of children’s development. The Biden administration’s open support for abortion rights and gender transitioning treatments for children suffering from gender dysphoria adds to these concerns.