UN Day 3: Mocking the Real Questions

UN Day 3: Mocking the Real Questions

This afternoon Heather and I heard IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation) talk about youth led sexual & reproductive rights advocacy. The panel consisted of (from left in the picture) a translator, a man from Mexico, a woman from Tunisia, a physician from Morocco who looked like she was 15 (she was actually 28), a lady from Washington D.C. and a woman from Barbados.

The room was jam packed, at least double the number of people the fire code allows. Dozens of women were sitting on the floor or standing in the back. Arriving 30 minutes early we were barely able to get seats. The panelist (sorry I didn’t get names) from Washington D.C. spoke on how sexual orientation is a neutral term. It does not mean gay or straight, its neutral for whoever you happen to be attracted to or dating at the time. There is lots of space for in between. (We approached her for an interview, claiming only to be students, but she didn’t buy that for a second and wouldn’t set up a time.)

After each panelist spoke, they opened it up for questions or comments. They wrote five to ten questions down, and then chose 3 that they wanted to respond to, usually leaving the questions we actually wanted them to answer out.

Some people took the opportunity to get on their soapbox, including one girl from Lebanon. She spoke about how we need to be able to have great sex all the time without worrying about any consequences. Then she said, “Morals like virginity will crumble and good riddance.” She received a round of applause.

Then a young girl stood up to ask her question. “In your opinion does comprehensive sexual education include abstinence?”  Her question (which I really appreciate her bravery for asking) got a mockery of a response. The man from Mexico answered her saying that (paraphrasing) yes it includes abstinence but abstinence is not 100 percent effective. Children need to learn all options and decide for themselves how they want to live without their parents input. And lastly (my personal favorite) that he believes in “abstinence with condoms.”

IPPF has and will continue to influence young girls and women to think that abstinence and having morals is worthless. Mainly it is worthless to them as they won’t be receiving a profit from abortion services.

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