A public school board in Southern California has postponed considering a proposal that would allow Planned Parenthood to open a clinic on a high school campus.
The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, which serves some 17,000 students in a Hispanic-majority community southeast of Los Angeles, said it will, at least for now, stop discussing the proposed measure.
"The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board of Education will postpone discussion of [the proposal] regarding the Planned Parenthood clinic at John Glenn High School," the district said in a July 18 statement
. "As a result, action will not be taken this evening during the regularly scheduled Board Meeting."
The seven-member school board was going to decide whether to sign a five-year contract with the Los Angeles chapter of Planned Parenthood. If approved, the clinic would be authorized to conduct physical examinations relevant to reproductive health, diagnose and treat sexually transmitted diseases, prescribe and dispense medication such as contraceptives, and insert "non-surgical long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCS), including, without limitation, IUDs."
According to the proposed contract (pdf
), the Planned Parenthood clinic would not be offering abortions or providing puberty blockers. It does note, however, that the clinic may make referrals to other facilities operated by the company for "services not offered" at the high school site.
Under current California law
, all minors and young adults can consent to and obtain sexual and reproductive health services without informing parents. Planned Parenthood specifically states in the proposed contract that it acknowledges that law, but will "encourage students to involve their families in decision making regarding the services, as appropriate."
The proposed partnership with Planned Parenthood was met with opposition from conservative Hispanic and Latino advocacy groups, notably Lexit Movement, a non-profit organization educating Latino voters that they don't have to vote Democrat. In a message posted on Twitter
, the group called on people to join a protest at the school board's July 18 meeting, claiming that the district "wants to give your children the opportunity to kill their children on campus."
The proposal also drew criticism from Nicole Neily, the president and founder of Parents Defending Education. In an interview with Fox News, Neily said the terms of contract are "appalling" enough even though abortions and puberty blockers are not listed as services to be offered.
"Other Planned Parenthood clinics do provide gender-affirming hormone therapy, so there is a very real possibility students will be referred off-campus to receive this treatment—again, with zero parental notification," she said. "To add insult to injury, there is no way for parents to ever obtain this information, as the proposed contract states that all medical records would be kept by Planned Parenthood."
In 2019, Planned Parenthood unveiled its plan to open 50 new "well-being centers" in Los Angeles-area high schools. An announcement
at that time said the centers would provide "a range of sexual health services one day a week," including birth control, testing, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy testing. The centers would not offer abortions, but instead have "pregnancy options counseling."
The public health department of Los Angeles County has committed an initial investment of $10 million for the program, according to the Los Angeles Times.