Saturday, February 25, 2006

Planned Parenthood Presents Charlie and the Condom Factory

A couple of months ago, I wrote about Planned Parenthood's taxpayer-subsidized campaign to teach children relativism, saying, "In the view of Planned Parenthood, the only wrong way to think about sex is to believe that sexual behavior contains within itself an intrinsic and inseparable moral dimension."

Here are more examples of the "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret Sanger" school of sex ed: synopses of sketches from Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties' IMAGES Theatre. According to the IMAGES Web site, these and other sketches are performed for high schoolers by Planned Parenthood's own teen troupe. See if you can detect the ideological threads running through these little pieces of entertainment intended for ages 14 and up (the opening and closing ones are performed for middle-schoolers as well):

Releasing the Old (opening) 3.5 minutes
A dance number that shows the cast moving through old beliefs, thoughts, emotions, habits—all old ways of engaging with the world including fear, apathy, judgments, and attitudes. The cast calls on the audience to release the old ways, release what no longer serves you in life.

Primary Message:
1. We need to release the old in order to take steps to engage in new ways of thinking and acting.
Life is Perfect (personal choice) 3.5 minutes
This scene begins with the very beginnings of life on earth. In the vast oceans of primeval earth, life begins and travels onward towards land. It then moves to a time when humans realize that they possess something powerful, something very personal, the concept of personal choice. This scene concludes with the realization that true empowerment is personal power, the power of the self.

Primary Messages:
1. Personal choice is important, but also includes personal responsibility and respect for oneself.
2. Individuality is vital.
3. Life is good when we make decisions for ourselves based on our fundamental principles.
Charlie and the Condom Factory (sexually transmitted infections) 15 minutes
The scene is structured in three episodes, played intermittently between other scenes. As in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, five lucky winners receive an incredible prize. In this version, Wilma Wonka has randomly scattered five golden condoms throughout the world. The finders of these riches are promised a lifetime supply of condoms, as well as access to Wilma’s world famous Condom Factory for one glorious day. There they are sure to see and learn things beyond their wildest dreams. As an added bonus, one Grand Prizewinner will receive an extra surprise upon the tour’s conclusion.

Primary Messages
1. The scene provides information, including symptoms and treatments of various bacterial and viral STIs, including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea Syphilis, Herpes, Genital Warts and HIV/AIDS.
2. Abstinence is the only method guaranteed to prevent the transmission of STIs, but if planning to engage in any sexual activity one must always use protection.
3. Life offers no magical “everlasting orgasm.” Only by making good choices and truly respecting oneself and others can real happiness and health be attained.
Phantom of Ignorance (birth control) 7 minutes
This scene is structured in three parts. As in Phantom of the Opera we begin with an auction. Our auctioneer starts the bidding for birth control devices. All major birth control methods are auctioned off to a crowd of enthusiastic bidders. Withdrawl method, Birth Control Pills, the Contraceptive Patch, Nuva Ring, Depo-Provera shot, male condoms and female condoms, and Emergency Contraception (or “the Morning-After Pill) are all discussed. After the auction two lovers decide those methods are too much work and fall victim to the Phantom of Ignorance. They soon learn the consequences of unprotected sex. The lovers are confused and both blame each other for the resulting pregnancy. The Angel of Protection reminds our couple that even though they thought they were being careful, they were not being safe, they were not engaging in safe sex.

Primary Messages:
1. Birth Control pills, the Contraceptive Patch, Nuva Ring and Depo-Provera are all hormonal contraception that require a doctor’s prescription. All use different combinations of Progestin and Estrogen to prevent ovulation. All are very effective means of contraception but do not protect against STIs.
2. Male and Female condoms are very effective means of contraception and also help prevent STIs. They are available over the counter and are easy to use.
3. There are consequences to having unprotected sex. Many myths about how a woman gets pregnancy are false. It only takes one unprotected intercourse act to get pregnant or to get an STI. Protected sex is the responsibility of both partners.
4. Emergency Contraception or “the Morning-After Pill” can be used only as a back up method and should be taken within 72 hours of any unprotected sex.E. If one chooses to be sexually active remember the three Cs: use contraception correctly, consistently, and cooperatively.
New Perspectives (closing) 4 minutes
The final scene shows our cast struggling between old beliefs and new thoughts and attitudes. They challenge the audience to release the old and embrace the new, be open to change and to live consciously day to day.

Primary Message:
1. New Perspectives, our theme for this season, calls for mindful living, for the transformation of old ways of living that no longer serve the individual or this world.
* * *
UPDATE: For "Charlie and the Condom Factory," The Curt Jester suggests new lyrics for the "Oompa Loompa Song":
Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do
I have a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-dee
If you are wise, you'll listen to me

What do you get with a contraceptive mentality?
Where a disease is seen as your own fertility.
You would think someone would object.
As women's bodies become an object.
He also suggests a new sketch for Planned Parenthood's IMAGES Theatre: "Pandora's Pill Box."

If you don't wish to see your tax dollars go towards teaching kids about "golden condoms" and "true empowerment [as] personal power, the power of the self," then sign the petition at

Also, if you would to learn how you can offer psychological or material support to women who choose to continue their pregnancies, visit Americans on Call.