The House’s proposed health national health plan would establish “school-based health clinics” on campuses, and one group is warning it could give Planned Parenthood direct access to American schoolchildren at taxpayer expense.
The American Family Association, or AFA, is warning that Section 2511 of H.R.3200, or the House plan, titled “School-Based Health Clinics,” allows a “non-profit health agency” to serve as a “sponsoring facility” for health clinics that operate during school hours. AFA has provided a document with actual language from H.R.3200 that outlines requirements for the program.
AFA notes that under this provision Planned Parenthood would be authorized to serve as a “sponsoring facility” for the nation’s schools.
“Although the bulk of the health care bill is scheduled to go into effect in 2013, this particular provision is slated to go into effect next summer, in time for clinics to appear in public schools by next fall,” an AFA memo stated.
The bill requires that the school-based health clinic “provide on-site access during the academic day when school is in session” and have “an established network of support and access to services with backup health providers when the school or [clinic] is closed.”
H.R.3200 requires that health clinics be given preference for the program if they have a demonstrated record of service to 1) a high percentage of medically underserved children and adolescents and 2) communities or populations in which children and adolescents have difficulty accessing health and mental health services.
The clinics will be required to provide comprehensive primary health services, including the following [emphasis added]:
- Physicals – comprehensive health assessments, diagnosis and treatment of minor, acute and chronic medical conditions and referrals to and follow-up for specialty care.
- Mental health – mental health assessments, crisis intervention, counseling, treatment and referral to a continuum of services including emergency psychiatric care, community support programs, inpatient care and outpatient programs
- Optional health services – additional services, which may include oral health, social and age-appropriate health education services, including nutritional counseling
The school-based health clinics will be located in, or adjacent to, school facilities and must provide, at a minimum, comprehensive primary health services during school hours.
AFA warned that under these guidelines Planned Parenthood may become a sponsoring facility and maintain a presence in U.S. schools at taxpayer expense.
“These Planned Parenthood clinics will not be accountable either to parents or school authorities. They will answer only to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, who is radically pro-abortion, and who was a vocal supporter of late-term abortionist George Tiller,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon in a statement. “For the death merchants from Planned Parenthood to have unrestricted access to our schoolchildren during school hours is totally unacceptable, but that’s exactly what will happen under this bill.”
Wildmon warned that parents would be left out of the decision-making process and remain uniformed about the care their children are receiving during school hours.
“Because the bill orders these clinics to protect ‘patient privacy and student records,’ parents will never know what kind of counsel and treatment their children receive by the time they get home from school,” he said. “America’s parents should be outraged at this stealth attack on their children’s sexual health.”
In July, Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., offered an amendment to H.R.3200 to ensure taxpayer dollars would not pay for abortions or subsidize health insurance plans that include abortion.
“We want an explicit exclusion in the bill to prevent any taxpayer funding from paying for abortions,” Pitts said. “Anything else is wrong, and contrary to overwhelming popular opinion.”
Pitts received support from most Republicans and some pro-life Democrats, but the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 31-27 against the amendment to ban abortion funding.
Bryan Fischer, AFA director of issue analysis, said the “school-based health clinics” provision in H.R.3200 would allow Planned Parenthood to spread its “grossly misnamed ‘safe sex’ message” through American schools.
“No rational society should allow purveyors of such a destructive message to set up shop on public school property, but that’s exactly what the President and the Democrats in Congress are proposing,” Fischer said. “It’s time for America’s families to rise up and say ‘No’ to Obamacare.”