Iowa Congressman Steve King wants to pull the plug on federal funding for Planned Parenthood because of its website aimed at providing sex-oriented information to teens. King, a Republican from Kiron, says he’s disturbed by some of the items available which he considers obscene.
King says, “There are clinical drawings that can go on the webpage if that’s supposed to be educational and if they’re pictures, then I view that as pornographic.” He opposes teens having unsupervised access to such materials, saying the organization’s website for teen sex information goes too far.
King says: “I don’t think Planned Parenthood has any business engaging in the moral standard. If it’s clinical, that’s one thing and if they’re advocating for an agenda, that’s another.” Planned Parenthood receives about 315-million dollars in federal grants and contracts. King admits he’ll have an uphill battle in Congress to try and cut some the money — and says it may be next to impossible.
King says, “To cut funding from an organization, then you get into the debate of do they provide a lot of other services that people don’t want to be accused of shutting off.” He objects to the sections on Planned Parenthood’s website that focus on teenage sexuality and which provide information about such things as alternate sexual lifestyles, abortion and different forms of contraception other than abstinence.
The president and C.E.O. of Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa disagrees with Congressman King. Jill June says King’s objections to teenwire.dot.com are unfounded.
“Congressman King objects to sexuality education for young people,” June says, “we think that it’s much better to be sure that young people have information and not stick our head in the sand about what’s going on in the world today.” She says they’re providing medically accurate information about human sexuality and human reproduction, which most people think is a smart thing to do.
“Teenwire-dot-com is a site that is provided through our doctors and medical professionals to be sure that young people know about condoms, how to use condoms, how to take care of themselves and how to make good decisions about sexuality,” June says, “this is not obscene information. This is sexuality education.” She says the pictures used on the website are clinical and couldn’t be mistaken for porn.
June says, “Most people do not find this offensive. Most people find that this is necessary information so that as you grow up and become an adult, the curiosities you have about your body can be accurately addressed. Kids want information about their bodies and we as parents want to be sure that information is accurate.” She encourages people to go to the “teenwire” website and judge for themselves.