Once again, a liberal promoting the Democrat education agenda has asserted that, “[t]he children,” as in yours and mine, “belong to all of us.” This time it was Professor Paul Reville, former Massachusetts Secretary of Education, who recently defended the controversial Common Core Curriculum with an appeal to shared concern for ‘our’ children. Awhile back, it was MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry who urged more education spending because “kids belong to whole communities,” not to their parents.
Such talk raises the hackles—and the suspicions—of conservatives. They see progressives as hell-bent on an agenda to restructure the American family. And they worry that liberal activists will mold the next generation in tolerance, autonomy, and moral relativism, while teaching them to reject parental authority and religious values.
There’s reason to worry.
But the real threat comes not from pundits and their puffery over ‘who owns the kids,’ but from the Trojan horse of ‘youth rights’— an agenda that’s already influencing schools, medical care, and the law. Under the guise of promoting children’s “rights” to make their own choices, progressives are relentlessly fencing parents out of the crucial, value-laden decisions in their children’s lives.
Pediatricians Vs. ParentsConsider an ordinary aspect of family life: a trip to the pediatrician’s office.Parents of 12- and 13-year-olds may find themselves unceremoniously ejected from the pediatrician’s examining room so that the doctor can speak privately with their child. It used to be that parents stepped out discreetly for a moment during the physical exam of an opposite-sex child, out of respect for the child’s developing body and desire for modesty.
But that’s not why parents are shown the door these days.
Willing or not, today’s pediatrician is a field agent in the campaign for ‘youth rights,’ a global movement that insists children have the capacity—and the right—to make their own decisions about issues that concern them, particularly questions of sexual identity, sexual behavior, and reproductive health. In reality, the demand for ‘youth rights’ is simply cover for the left’s aggressive promotion of its radical sexual agenda.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) seems to have embraced its part in the youth rights campaign. In recent policy statements on emergency contraception and the care of LGBTQ youth, the AAP urges pediatricians to “counsel,” educate, and support young people in the exercise of their sexual and reproductive rights.
The AAP tells its physicians that, “regardless” of the adolescent’s “current intentions for sexual behavior,” the pediatrician should discuss “sexual safety and family planning,” as a matter of “routine anticipatory guidance.” In addition, the conscientious pediatrician will go even further, offering to “supply” both boys and girls with emergency contraception to “have on hand in case of future need.”
Pediatricians Secretly Assisting With … Sexual Identity?The progressive powers-that-be have decided that providing emergency contraception is part of the new script for adolescent care— even if the teen doesn’t request it. ‘Let’s check your height, listen to your lungs, and send you home with some emergency contraception.’ With no judgment, shame, or stigma, of course. (And no regard either for family concerns about the health, emotional, and moral implications of teen sex and emergency contraception.)
Similarly, the AAP statement on LGBTQ youth envisions that pediatricians will play “a role in helping teenagers sort through their [sexual] feelings and behaviors…pediatricians should assist adolescents as they develop their identities and to avoid the consequences of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), regardless of sexual orientation.”RELATED: Facebook offers 50 new terms for gender designation
In a blatantly political move, the AAP policy also condemns “heterosexism” (the idea that “heterosexuality is the expected norm and that somehow LGBTQ teens are ‘abnormal’”) and recommends that pediatricians display pictures of same-sex couples in order to be more welcoming to “sexual minority” youth. And lest children miss the inclusive message, the AAP tells pediatricians to ask adolescents (even those who are not yet sexually active) if they are attracted to or having sex with “males, females, or both.”