HEALTH CARE TAX DOLLARS WORKING TO DISCOURAGE PREGNANCY
Recently the Contra Costa County, California, Department of Child Support Services in conjunction with the Parenting Task Force unit of the Child and Family Policy Forum hosted a presentation by Jean Flanagan, a Superior Court Child Support Commissioner for the county of San Benito, Ca. The topic was: The Legal and Financial Responsibilities of Parenthood.
This presentation was aired over the local cable TV station. I obtained a DVD copy of the presentation.
The presentation focused on a 40 minute movie entitled “It Takes Two: The Legal and Financial Responsibilities of Parenthood,” which Ms Flanagan, a former high school english teacher turned attorney, claimed she wrote and produced based on her experiences and knowledge of child support court hearings. Funding and assistance came from the San Benito Court system and a Title lV-D grant. This grant is apparently authorized under the School-to-Work section of the Social Security Act.
Funding for the local presentation to a room full of community service organization employees, authorized to form partnerships with the county under the School-to-Work rules, including two from Planned Parenthood and county school Department personnel came from the County Board of Supervisors, Planned Parenthood Shasta/Diablo and La Clinica de la Raza Monument, in Concord.
The purpose of the presentation emceed by Linda Dippel, Director of the Contra Costa County Department of Child Support Services, was to urge the groups present to obtain the video and instruction manual which were free to them (varying charges to the general citizenry) and begin showing it to groups of teenagers, age 14-16, either in church settings, youth groups, schools or all three.
Ms Flanagan indicated that the video and instruction manual were created with the intention of allowing for local input and adaptations. Her goal, she claimed, was to educate teenagers to the real life consequences of unwed, unplanned pregnancies and the legal and financial choices (one might say burdens) and actions they would face following birth.
The story line depicted two young girls preparing for their Junior Prom. One caucasian teenager fixes up her naive acting Latina friend, Kathy Cruz, age presumably about 16, with a blind date, a young man from out of town age 18 and emancipated. He is depicted as looking for a good time, interested in being a mechanic with a nonchalant attitude toward life. As they leave Kathy’s home, Kathy tells her mom that she is staying overnight with her girlfriend. We learn later that the girlfriend has also told her mom that she is staying overnight with Kathy. The mother is depicted as totally accepting of the situation.
The two couples are shown leaving the Prom, smoking marijuana and drinking with Kathy ending up in the covered, carpeted flat bed of the date’s pick up (shades of Bill clinton) showing no resistance to her date’s amorous intentions. Remember, her role is the naive, innocent eventually victimized teenager.
The next scene, one
month later, shows a worried Kathy receiving advice from her friend.
Interesting note: Hazel Hawkins was an employee of the Passavant Health Care Center (located in the eastern US) in 1985 who joined in a picket to unionize the center. (Teamsters Union #538, case # 6-CB, NRLB. Google the name Hazel Hawkins). This is another instance of close association of two groups who would seem to have different goals and objectives, the Teamsters Union and Planned Parenthood.
As the video continues the scene shifts to 9 months later and the birth of a baby girl to Kathy. In the hospital a nurse or counselor of some sort urges Kathy to sign child support claim papers to obtain financial support from the putative father whom she hasn’t seen since the night of the prom.
The rest of the video is focused on the procedures followed in court to obtain child support payments from the father who appears reluctant, despondent but willing to step up to his responsibilities to support this child with whom they both presume he will never have a relationship. Kathy’s parents whom we presume were supportive during the pregnancy are no longer in the story. Kathy is alone and still a minor.
As the video closes the credits roll by listing Planned Parenthood-Shasta/Diablo (Concord) and La Clinica-Monument with contact information.
Much of the information depicting the legal activities involved in establishing parenthood and setting rules for child support payments are harsh, the Child Support Dept. counselors aggressive and the young father totally overwhelmed. Thought probably accurate in it’s depiction of the court proceedings, there is much, about this video that is misleading, downright deceitful and little more than advertising for Planned Parenthood.
This might be a useful video for parents to watch and be encouraged to critique what goes wrong, but for children age 14-16 to view this it just shows the sales pitch approach to being sexually active, use some form of birth control and go to Planned Parenthood for help. Above all don’t get pregnant.
The teaching manual that goes with the movie provides talking points. The scenarios shown for the young mother and her child are depressing. The girl will be saddled with a child, limited in her life choices, forever involved with a man she cares nothing about and all the while just a victimized innocent and sweet girl who should have been protected by her “date” not used for his own fun. The young father is caught in a downward spiral of heavy support payments and dwindling income and life choices.
I seriously doubt that this Jean Flanagan of San Benito County wrote this story line and produced this video without help from the national Pregnancy Prevention Forum whose statistics are used in the narrative, and Planned Parenthood. I am still researching all the connections, but it appears to also be connected to the goals and objectives stated in federal legislation, S 20 by Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton and it’s House companion HR 1709 by Louise Slaughter of New York. I have written about this legislation in past months.
This video can be obtained, free of charge, in area libraries, schools and community organizations. Apparently students could watch it on library computers. This video, “It Takes Two” may well be stocked in your county library or school in other California counties or other states. And, it may well be showing up in youth groups in a church near you. One of the members of the audience during the tv presentation was a male representative from Planned Parenthood who oversees the male focused prevention programs. He told of his many trips up and down Northern California talking to male youth and church and school groups and how this would be quite a teaching tool. A friend tells me that she has seen posters for some time, advertising "It Takes Two' in Richmond high, in Richmond, California.
The accompanying manual urges young women to visit Planned Parenthood.
Added note: Reading the web sites of La Clinica de la Raza-Monument and Planned Parenthood clearly shows their primary targeted groups of clientele to be young women in their reproductive years. Family Planning is usually quite near the top in the listed services available.
Catholic Charities of the East Bay is a supporter and promoter of La Clinica. More about the mission and goals of La Raza in a next edition.