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Home : News : Local
10/11/2012 11:10:00 AM
Organization fights for children
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
Savio Weinhart takes part in a Precious Children of Portland protest in 2007 at site of new Planned Parenthood.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
Savio Weinhart takes part in a Precious Children of Portland protest in 2007 at site of new Planned Parenthood.
Photo courtesy of Bill Diss
Bill Diss with pro-life activist Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood worker.
Photo courtesy of Bill Diss
Bill Diss with pro-life activist Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood worker.
Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

Teacher Bill Diss can't say it more nicely. "All hell broke loose" last month in his classroom at Benson High School.

Planned Parenthood workers entered and began recruiting students for a youth life choices program. Diss objected, but officials at Benson required him to let the presentation go forward. Speakers from the Teen Outreach Program promised to pay children to join the club, which focuses on relationships and sexual health. Planned Parenthood says the objective is to prevent teen pregnancy, but Diss does not trust the bearer of the message.

It's the latest in more than five years of outspoken effort by Diss and members of Precious Children of Portland, a group he originally founded to counter a new Planned Parenthood office not far from the school.

Diss, a member of Holy Rosary Parish, says Planned Parenthood not only performs abortions, but inherently promotes promiscuity. Early sexual activity is linked to a number of problems.   

"Those are my kids they're after," Diss says.  

If students join the club, known as TOP, Planned Parenthood can give them medical treatment and use their images in video promotions. Diss has criticized previous Planned Parenthood videos as explicit and encouraging of sexual activity.  

Planned Parenthood did not respond to requests for comment. Workers from the organization were given access to Diss's class to monitor him.

In the past five years, the abortion and health care provider not only built the new building on Northeast Martin Luther King Boulevard, but centers in Eugene, Gresham and McMinnville.

"It's chilling," Diss says.

He and others accuse Planned Parenthood of a cynical business plan: Clinics go up in low-income and often African-American neighborhoods. That boosts its abortion income, since African American women have abortions at higher rates than any other group.

Bishop Martin Holley, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, has criticized what he calls the racist nature of abortion and how it preys on black Americans.

“As an African American, I am saddened by evidence that Black women continue to be targeted by the abortion industry," Bishop Holley said in 2008. "The loss of any child from abortion is a tragedy, but we must ask: Why are minority children being aborted at such disproportionate rates?”

Deacon Harold Burke Sivers of Immaculate Heart Parish, not far from the new Planned Parenthood in Portland, says the organization promotes promiscuity and then reaps the benefits — unwanted pregnancies and lucrative abortions.  

Diss has for years been urging Catholics — especially voters — to pray and act in opposition to abortion and what he sees as Planned Parenthood's attack on purity.

"Unless more people step up, there will be four more Planned Parenthoods in the state in five years," Diss predicts. "And Planned Parenthood will be in more schools."

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