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Successful efforts of Ponton youth activists to counteract rollbacks on sexuality education in Poland

 

Successful efforts of Ponton youth activists to counteract rollbacks on sexual education in Poland


In November 2017, the action "Towards maturity" funded by the National Health Program was launched. "Towards maturity" is a nationwide project in which tutors are being trained via a freely accessible online platform. The patronage over the campaign included non-governmental organizations, among others The Evangelium Vitae Foundation (on its own website described as a "living monument of John Paul II") or the Pure Heart Foundation (which as part of its mission mentions actions to "make every marriage sacramental" and to aim for the “largest possible number of girls and boys to begin their sexual life only after marriage”). For the unregistered person, there are available 6 out of 7 films dealing with the subjects around reproduction – from diet and stimulants, through contraception and sexually transmitted diseases to "parental tasks before conception and during the development of the prenatal child ". Filmed lectures contain information such as:

- condoms heighten the risk of contracting STI's/STD's
- supplementation of vitamins is a form of protection before STI's/STD's
- impregnated cell can communicate with the mother, "saying" things like "accept me, welcome me to your warm pillow".


Ponton Group, published an article "Rhetoric of fear and repression - a project of the Ministry of Health " where you can find more information about this program. After the publication of the article we were contacted by OKO.Press, Polish non-profit journalist organisation. They amplified our message and soon other media had reached out to us. Antonina Lewandowska, the author of the very first article, was quoted by portals like Newsweek.pl or Onet.pl. After our swift reaction the Ministry of Health pulled down the filmed lectures!

 

 

 

Rhetoric of fear and repression - a project of the Ministry of Health

 

In November 2017, the action "Towards maturity" funded by the National Health Program was launched. This action is designed to "develop the ability to make the right choices,"1 "help young people prepare to take on future marital and parental roles"2 and "show the effects of late parenthood."3 What exactly does that mean and how the project looks like from the inside?

"Towards maturity" is a nationwide project in which tutors are being trained via a freely accessible online platform, who then later implement reproductive health classes at schools. Among the discussed topics one can find: "early sexual initiation and reproductive health", "fertility as an indicator of reproductive health" or "concern for the development of a conceived child". The patronage over the campaign also included non-governmental organizations, among others The Evangelium Vitae Foundation (on its own website described as a "living monument of John Paul II") or the Pure Heart Foundation (which as part of its mission mentions actions to "make every marriage sacramental" and to aim for the “largest possible number of girls and boys to begin their sexual life only after marriage”). For the unregistered person, there are available 6 out of 7 films dealing with the subjects around reproduction – from diet and stimulants, through contraception and sexually transmitted diseases to "parental tasks before conception and during the development of the prenatal child " - although in medicine the term " development of the prenatal child" is not used, as opposed to "zygote", "embryo" or "fetus"; depending on the stage of pregnancy.

I will omit the issue of a rough website (the "News" section consists of one entry about the beginning of the program, in addition it is described as a traditional programmer clog, so called "Lorem ipsum") or mistakes and typos appearing every now and then in the presentations, to which experts refer to. Expert videos seem to play a key role - the information they provide serve as the basis for knowledge for the tutors trained by the Ministry of Health and the Kielce company, Lecha Consulting.

 

Anti-knowledge about contraception

And so, the contraception discussed for over two hours by Aleksandra Maria Kicińska MD , seems to have only drawbacks - the speaker talks about depression, thrombosis, obesity, liver diseases, cancer, even deaths. The antididination (or anti-implantation) action is defined as a “loop word” because we are dealing with a "conceived human being" the lack of implantation means de facto occurrence of "micro-abortions", both when using post-coital contraception and intrauterine devices, commonly referred to as spirals. It must be noted here, that we can not talk about a miscarriage when the pregnancy has not yet existed, and the WHO definition clearly defines the beginning of the pregnancy as the moment of implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterine wall – what the doctor undoubtedly must have known as a practicing doctor. In the same presentation, we can read that "such cases are not recorded anywhere, but they are commonplace" )this is about the risk of thrombosis while using hormonal contraception, as I wrote in my article "My life with L.”) – if they are not recorded how she could’ve concluded that they occur routinely ?

In the film about sexually transmitted diseases dr Marek Ślusarski almost does not cite any sources in support of his bold thesis (from time to time there are only scans the tables of test results or color maps with data on morbidity). Just like the characteristic infamous theory about micropores in condoms, through which viruses and sperms would penetrate.

There are various numbers mentioned (holes are supposed to be around 5 microns), warnings about the ineffectiveness of condoms (even the Pearl Index data is quoted - which was used by, among others, WHO or American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the index name itself is written incorrectly on the slide). Bah! the viewers are convinced of the carcinogenicity of condoms! Here, let me add, that these micropores, often appearing in the rhetoric of opponents of using contraception, came from a letter of a man named C. Michael Roland, the editor of the magazine Rubber Chemistry and Technology, to the Washington Times (a newspaper founded by Soon Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church) in 1992. It's enough to mention that Roland's data on 5 microns was based on latex gloves, not condoms, which according to American standards of those times were dipped in latex not once (as was the case with gloves), but twice; they also underwent more precise quality checks. You can also argue differently - if you fill the condom with water, it will not leak, even though the water molecules are smaller than the virus particles. But back to Dr. Ślusarski - in addition to threatening with the low efficiency of condoms, he also claims that "A house of pleasure has recently been opened in Denmark [with animals - editor's note A. L.]. " Considering the fact that Denmark has banned the animal abuse for years, and in 2015, zoophilia was outlawed there, I wonder how such a  public home could have "recently" opened up. The only explanation that comes to my mind is that the doctor based this information on the so-called "Fake news" and spreads unproven stories.

 

Prenatal orphans and wonders of naprotechnology

Such examples can be multiplied. In an two and a half hour (!) lecture of dr Doroty Kornas-Biel for example, we find that the fertilized egg tells (!) its mother "I exist, accept me, prepare for me your pillow, quilt, plump cradle". You can also find out that calling the state of pregnancy exactly what it is - the "state of pregnancy" and not "having a baby", can make the father not interested in the state of his partner and will make "his child a prenatal orphan" - and these are only selected fragments! In the video about contraception, we can also find a graph to prove the relationship between the use of contraception and the and relationship stability (although every person who had any contact with statistics in one’s life should know that the correlation does not indicate causality, which Dr. Messereli pointed out to his famous study on the correlation of chocolate per capita consumption in a given country, and the number of his Nobel Prize winners). Subsequently, the material about medical procedures implemented in a situation of infertility conducted by Iwona Rawicka MD  is less than an hour and a half, which can be enclosed in the titles of two slides: "NaProTECHNOLOGY advantages" and "In Vitro - side effects of therapy".

The entire course focuses on fertility and parenthood - it is hopeless to look for any mention of the LGBTQIA + communities (apart from Mr Ślusarski, who discusses homosexuality when discussing types of sexual contact)

 

 

Abstinence from education?

From these materials, the youth will not find out that sex can be pleasant, rather they’ll remember how dangerous it is – but young people will not get the tools and knowledge to protect themselves. They will probably only remember that the blastocyst is the same as the child, condoms leak and in vitro kills.

The Polish government focuses on abstinence education - recommends the proverbial "glass of water instead" unless you are in a faithful, monogamous relationship. It does not matter that the studies have repeatedly proved that the abstinence model is not effective[1] [2], and its use is discouraged by organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics. Advocates For Youth (an American NGO dealing with the rights of children and young people) claims in one of their reports that abstinence education is not only ineffective, but even dangerous – it transmits scientifically unverified information and beliefs as facts, preserves gender stereotypes, and even refers to refuted or false research results[3].

In addition to abstinence education, there are two more approaches to sexuality education - a comprehensive and extended abstinence method (also called mixed). The mixed method mentions more about contraception or sexual minorities, but it still condemns pre-marital sex. The comprehensive method on the other hand (so-called comprehensive sex education) provides scientifically confirmed information, offering students access to the largest possible amount of knowledge that young people can use according to their own needs and beliefs. It deepens the education about the issues of accepting one's body, consenting to sex or taking responsibility for one's actions.

Recent European studies[4] showed that Polish girls have the most complexes in Europe, they start to diet to lose weight even at the age of 9. According to the well-known report of the STER Foundation[5] from 2016 we have a colossal problem with sexual violence in relationships. Subsequent cases of pregnancy paranoia, self-mutilation, young (even 11-year-olds) people lying in venereal hospitals in severe ulcer sores are no longer even publicized. The "Towards maturity" program does not propose any solutions to these and other existing problems - on the contrary, it seems to sweep them under the carpet and may have disastrous consequences in our already already deplorable situation.

 

Antonina Lewandowska, Ponton Group of Sex Educators

Translation: Katarzyna Sęk, Ponton Group of Sex Educators

 

JAK UZYSKAĆ POMOC OD EDUKATOREK/-ÓW PONTONU?

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