School Based Clinic Claims Challenged by Lake County Right to Life

The Lake County Right to Life sent a letter to all of the Round Lake Area Mayors and Trustees who are being lured into supporting a school based clinic Lake County Right to Life says “The Round Lake School District 116 is presenting the School Based Health Center for support of the villages who feed the school.” Although the presentation was put on by Brenda Bannor who is not directly associated with Round Lake School District 116, accompaning her was the RLA school board president, Nanci Radford (wearing her Board President name badge), who used the mic on several occasions to defend the SBC. Following is the letter:

Dear Trustee,

The Truth in Healthcare Coalition is writing to you today because we are aware that, proponents of the School Based Health Center in Round Lake School District 116, will present their case for village support. The Truth in Healthcare Coalition would like to share some information with you, to give you a better grasp on this important issue. A representative of The Truth in Healthcare Coalition was in the audience on Monday evening, May, 14th and reported that the presentation raised several issues that we would like you to research.

In the presentation, the issue of potential taxpayer funding arose. The presenter was very clear that no tax dollars would be used for the School Based Health Center (SBHC). Note the change in name from School Based Clinics to School Based Health Centers. The SBHC accepts Medicaid funding and is also a recipient of Title X funding; both entities are totally taxpayer funded. Title X, created in 1970, specifically allocated for lower income families, is the only Federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related health services. By law, priority is given to persons in low income families and uninsured people, including those not eligible for Medicaid. By law, Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning. However, we know that one fourth of Title X funds are allocated to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is the number one abortion provider in America.

On November 28th, 2011, the Round Lake School District held an open meeting to present the plans for the SBHC. Brenda Bannor was the presenter at this meeting and also at the May 14th, 2012 meeting. There were a few vital discrepancies. At the November 28th, meeting she made it clear that once a consent form was signed by a parent, he or she would not be notified when a child came to the clinic for mental health or reproductive issues. Of course this is true, because confidentiality is protected federally protected by law, regardless of age. On top of which, Illinois has no parental consent law for abortion.

There was also a discrepancy in the two talks on the sliding pay scale. Why are we even considering placing a clinic in the school? This is a duplication of services already provided by the County Health Departments and Emergency Rooms. Federal law mandates that, anyone coming into an emergency room, regardless of insurance or legality, must be treated. Everyone seeking medical care today, has a wait time, including those with insurance and those without insurance. The Coalition feels that school space should be utilized for academic programs.

At the beginning of Brenda’s presentation, she mentions the ethnic makeup of the high school, identifying a largely Hispanic population. She then goes on to say that, while teen birthrates are going down nationwide, they are on the rise in District 116. After Brenda identified this increasing teen birthrate, she contradicted herself by saying that mental health issues are the number reason for visits to the SBHC. The mental health umbrella is large, as many young girls discovering an unplanned pregnancy, will say, “my parents will kill me if I tell them,” creating a mental health issue in the minds of SBHC proponents.

The typical strategy for implementing nationwide School Based Health Centers:
Creating an impression of need
Making connections only with public officials and groups who already support the clinic
Creating a blue ribbon committee packed with clinic supporters
Making sure that only parents who back the clinic are included in focus groups
If opposition surfaces against birth control and abortions, installing the clinic without them and then adding them after the clinic is established and the controversy dies down.
Round Lake’s feasibility study claims that interviews and focus groups revealed widespread support for the SBBC, saying, “There is a will in the community” and that there is “unanimous agreement of need.” If this is true, why does the study note that Reproductive health services and education are needed, but they are not sure of the community’s support?

Most SBBC advocates use materials from two organizations: Advocates for Youth (formerly the Center for Populations Options) and SIECUS (The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States). Both Advocates for Youth and SIECUS are in the forefront of the movement against allowing abstinence programs to be a choice for those who want them.

Enclosed is the original November 28, 2011 short video of Brenda’s presentation along with poignant questions from parents in the audience.

Bonnie Quirke, R.N.

Editors note: The ongoing village meeting presentations that are mentioned in the letter was posted May 15th on this blog HERE and includes a video of the RLB meeting. Also at this meeting, one of the Trustees asked if there was a place or site that parents could go to in order to voice their opinion or find out more about the SBC. Bannor replied that they were working on something like that. She may not be aware that there is ALREADY an independent PUBLIC FORUM, not associated with the school district for parents to voice any of their concerns or support at www.RoundLakeSchoolDistrict.com (go to the PUBLIC FORUM page)

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