Youth Manifesto, published by International Planned Parenthood Foundation, is designed to "meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people," according to the IPPF.
Toward that end, the manifesto's three goals include increased access to and information about sexual health services regardless of age, increased youth activism with regard to government policy, and the ability of youth to have "pleasure and confidence" in sexual activity.
Also among the manifesto's objectives is for society to "recognize the right of all young people to enjoy sex and to express their sexuality in the way that they choose," putting the group's goals at odds with some jurisdictions in which certain sexual conduct is prohibited.
The content of Youth Manifesto "reflects what young people around the world view as crucial to meeting young people's sexual and reproductive health needs and rights," according to IPPF, and is "designed to inspire action and discussion among young people and those working with them."
IPPF states it "strongly believes that it is young people themselves who really know about what matters to them and that they should be allowed space to express themselves."
According to the IPPF, the Youth Manifesto is based on 10 "core values," which include "allowing young people to try things out," the freedom for youth to "express our sexuality," and the premise of sexual activity as a means of "having fun."
The manifesto's core values add that children should be able to "enjoy sex when we feel the time is right," and notes, "for some people, this is only within marriage."
IPPF Youth Manifesto does more than fall short of properly preparing children for their impending sexuality, according to Austin Ruse, president of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute in New York.
"This is a dagger aimed right at the heart of the family," said Ruse. "What the radicals try to do is separate children from their parents."
The word "parent" does not appear in either the manifesto or its core values, but the documents note that children should be "sharing responsibilities and decisions with adults," and makes numerous references to "service providers."
"That's very significant," said Wendy Wright, communications director for Concerned Women for America. "At the U.N., many of these radical groups have promoted the term 'caretaker' as opposed to 'parent' or 'relative' or someone who would have an intimate responsibility for a child."
Among the elements of the manifesto is peer counseling, where children seek advice on sexuality from others in their own age group, which Ruse called "one of the great and dangerous movements in the sex-ed movement."
Part of the risk, according to Wright, is the erosion of parental rights and responsibilities. She said the manifesto was "promoting the line of complete autonomy for children and stripping of all responsibilities from parents."
Family considerations aside, Ruse said there's also an immediate concern for children seeking advice on the sensitive topic of sexuality. "Children can't counsel other children," said Ruse. "This is a recipe for disaster."
Ruse accused IPPF of trying to create a new market for the abortion industry and said it was promoting "irresponsible sexual behavior," among children.
Youth Manifesto focuses in large part on contraception and education in the use and availability of contraceptive devices. Ruse countered by saying that "most contraceptives in and of themselves cause abortions," and noted that ordinary birth control pills and intra-uterine devices are designed to end pregnancies in their earliest stages.
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