REPORTED BY: JARED ECKERT AND EMMA SOFIA MULL | MAY 10, 2022
Long the nation’s chief abortion provider, Planned Parenthood has branched out. Its latest endeavor? Sterilizing America’s youth. Planned Parenthood has quietly been in the gender transition business since at least 2017. Today, more than a third of its offices — 239 clinics in more than 40 states — provide transgender services. And it’s not stopping there.
While those seeking puberty blockers or surgical procedures are referred elsewhere, Planned Parenthood is offering access to cross-sex hormones, promoting gender ideology in sex ed programs, and establishing “well-being centers” in local high schools. The organization is looking to cash in on gender transition for years to come.
Just how readily does Planned Parenthood provide the gender-confused with cross-sex hormones? Consider the case of detransitioner Helena Kirschner. She received testosterone during her first visit — without blood work or a mental health referral.
Sadly, Kirschner is not the exception. Offices guarantee that patients can receive hormones without an evaluation of their mental health. They also promise that, in most cases, patients can expect same-day prescriptions.
Already thousands of kids are getting hormones like candy. Three California regional offices of Planned Parenthood recorded almost 4,000 gender-related visits from July 2019 to June 2021. In one California region, more than 750 cycles of hormones were prescribed in a year. These numbers are not representative for California; other Planned Parenthood offices in the state don’t even bother reporting these services.
Planned Parenthood offices state they only offer hormones to minors aged 16 or older with parental consent, but that is not the whole truth. In California, minors may receive “sensitive care,” like transition services, without parental permission. Given Planned Parenthood’s past deception, there’s no reason to think the organization won’t bend its own rules for profit.
And that’s just California. Thirty-three states plus D.C. have laws that, to some degree, allow minors to obtain routine health care without parental consent. In states where “gender affirming care” is deemed “medically necessary,” minors may be able to transition without parents knowing. And hormones may just be one Planned Parenthood appointment away.
All of this is deeply troubling. Despite Planned Parenthood’s deceptive marketing, transition is not proven to be the best medical practice. We know that 88 to 98 percent of gender dysphoric kids will reconcile with their biological sex if allowed to go through puberty “untreated.” Moreover, those who do transition are estimated to be 19 times more likely to commit suicide than their peers.
Even before Planned Parenthood helps minors transition, it teaches them to desire it. Across the country, schools hire Planned Parenthood or its affiliates to lead sex ed. And its reach is not insignificant. Nationally, 1.2 million students receive Planned Parenthood’s affiliate sex ed programming each year, according to the organization’s last annual report.
While curriculum requirements vary by state, these programs promote everything from abortion and the morning-after pill to gender fluidity and transition. By indoctrinating youth, the abortion giant creates the demand it needs to profit from gender services.
But creating demand does not stop with sex ed. Planned Parenthood wants to cement a permanent school-to-clinic pipeline. In 2019, the abortion giant announced it would open 50 “wellbeing centers” in Los Angeles high schools. These centers will offer “health and wellness education services, sexual health services,” and more. Innocuous as these services appear, they exist to market Planned Parenthood’s services. Handpicked staff will provide transition support and chemical abortion.
Ultimately, Planned Parenthood’s rapid expansion of services should raise alarm. Planned Parenthood is no longer a danger just to the pregnant and the unborn, but to every teen as well.
Thankfully, state and federal policymakers can help protect minors from falling prey to these “services.” By enacting bills like Arkansas’ SAFE Act, states could stop Planned Parenthood and others’ efforts to mislead minors. Instead of passing bills that undermine parental rights (as California has done), states should work to ensure parental rights are upheld and respected.
In Congress, members must remain vigilant against the Equality Act, which would make the school-to-surgery pipeline a permanent fixture of American society. Lawmakers should also consider Hyde-like riders to ensure the Biden administration can’t redirect federal dollars to help Planned Parenthood sterilize our kids.
Elected officials who haven’t been bought out by woke corporations can learn from the far-left’s tone deafness. Policies that protect kids and empower parents are popular with voters, especially parents. By championing parents and children, legislators can stop bad actors like Planned Parenthood from preying on the vulnerable.
Jared Eckert is a research assistant in The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family. Emma Sofia Mull is a graduate of the think tank’s Young Leaders Program.
JARED ECKERT AND EMMA SOFIA MULL