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Planned Parenthood is the largest source of sex education across our region, reaching more than 40,000 adults and young people. Highly trained sex educators are invited in to public and private schools, community centers, scout troops, churches, health clinics and more teach a variety of topics. In recent years, the most requested topic, by youth and adults alike, is the topic of consent.

In the recent wake of thousands of survivors speaking out about their experiences with sexual violence and harassment, this is good news. Sexual violence and harassment happen in every community – and have for a long time. That’s why black civil-rights activist Tarana Burke created the MeToo movement in 2006 to bring attention to sexual violence against women and girls of color. More than a decade later, #MeToo became a hashtag and more and more people have come forward to tell their stories and demand change.

The national narrative has focused on what we can do to hold adults accountable. But, what about young people? This is where Planned Parenthood can help drive a culture of consent in the wake of the #MeToo Movement. 

In order to prevent sexual violence, young people need access to sex education that includes consent and healthy relationships, starting well before college and well before they become sexually active.

The next generation, our future business and government leaders, will ultimately determine whether sexual violence and harassment persists. And we have a responsibility to reach them now. Young people need to know how to recognize what harassment looks like, how to stop it from happening, and how to avoid becoming perpetrators. Planned Parenthood’s sex educators help young people build skills in saying yes or no, asking for permission, listening and respecting a person’s responses in any communication (not just around sex), and practicing skills in accepting rejection. No matter the question asked, PPMNS educators find a way to bring consent into the answer.

Consent education is sexual assault prevention, and an essential part of sex education.

Sex education is a natural fit for teaching these lessons and already well-integrated into the curriculum at Planned Parenthood. As we move forward, we must hold abusers and harassers accountable – but we also must continue to take real steps to prevent violence and harassment in the first place. Sex education that includes consent is a powerful tool to help prevent sexual violence.

Tags: minnesota

Solidarity Day

Every year on Good Friday, anti-Planned Parenthood protesters descend on the Planned Parenthood clinic at Vandalia Street in Saint Paul to shame and intimidate patients. They can have their protest. We’re going to have a rally. Join us Friday, April 19 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. to stand in solidarity and celebration as we proudly show the world that Planned Parenthood is here for good. RSVP in advance and you'll get an exclusive button when you check in!

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Fight Back Against the Title X Gag Rule

The Trump-Pence administration's Title X gag rule would block access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic care that Planned Parenthood patients rely on. Take action by a sending message to the elected officials that represent you to encourage them to vote in favor of HF 1011 / SF 1293, a bill that will increase funding for the state-based Family Planning Special Projects (FPSP) grant and help offset the impact of this dangerous rule.

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Become a Volunteer

Sign up to volunteer with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in Minnesota. Volunteers help elect Planned Parenthood champions, advance reproductive health legislation, educate and engage the public around our services and our political work, and more. By becoming a volunteer, you will play an integral role in ensuring access to reproductive health care. 

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Survivors of sexual assault deserve respect. Survivors also deserve access to the full range of health services and support — including emergency contraception, rape kits, STD testing, PEP, and abortion.