Editorial: Unplanned problems

Recently, the Depot and program director Janice Marzano came under fire for planning a discussion on Plan B, the day-after contraceptive, and inviting Planned Parenthood to provide their input.

The objections seemed two-fold — one, critics were concerned it appeared the Depot was advocating the use of Plan B (they weren’t) and two, critics objected to the choice of Planned Parenthood as a partner.

Many in the pro-life and Christian communities object to Planned Parenthood because they provide abortions. However, that is just one aspect of Planned Parenthood. Much of its work is to inform young people, especially young women, about safe and healthy sexual activity. It also provides information on staying healthy, reproductive care, and sexually transmitted diseases, and issues like consent.

People are certainly entitled to their own opinions. And obviously Planned Parenthood is a bit of a hot button for many.

What people aren’t entitled to is being able to anonymously bully and threaten another human being. Any human being.

But especially not a human being like Janice Marzano, who has dedicated the last two decades of her life to educating, assisting, caring for, protecting and in most cases loving Darien’s young people.

This was an optional program. No one was forced to attend and if anyone objected to it they were welcome to skip it.

Most of these Depot programs are created to address a need that Janice detects from her finger, which is constantly on the pulse of Darien’s youth.

Programs like substance abuse, bullying, sexual consent, sexting, and eating disorders are needed by today’s young people. If Janice thinks a program on safe use of birth control is needed because young people don’t understand it and are misusing it, it probably is.

No parent wants to believe a child is abusing substances or casually having any kind of sexual activity, especially our youngest teenagers. But shutting down a program because we don’t want to face reality isn’t the answer. And endangering a crucial town resource like the Depot by threatening the staff and board by withholding the funding to survive, or shutting it down behind closed doors, is not the example we should be setting for our children.

Information is power.

Many who criticized the choice of Planned Parenthood as a partner did so on the grounds they did not agree with its values. As good people, they couldn’t abide by Planned Parenthood’s mission.

There’s a certain irony that these anonymous individuals who attacked Janice Marzano for trying to educate our children and do the right thing did so on the pulpit of high moral standing.

Attacking behind a shield of self-imposed anonymity is a much worse lesson than anything Planned Parenthood could have taught, had they been given the chance.

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