Planned Parenthood starts new program for teenagers
A new program from Planned Parenthood is looking to teach Illinois teens about health in a unique way.
The new program is called 'My Body, My Story' and it is using teens to explain the idea of reproductive health issues to their peers.
"Another big part of the campaign is making sure that youth in Illinois know that they have access to birth control. A lot of youth think you have to be 18 to get birth control or that you have to have a parent," Director of Community Engagement for Planned Parenthood Deonn Strathman said.
But some are wondering if the program has an alternative motive and question why the program is having teenagers talk to teenagers about heavier topics.
"To me, the way I would like for young people to learn about contraception would be from their parents," President of Springfield Right to Life Tim Moore said. "Not from their peers, not from Planned Parenthood. I would like them to learn that at home."
Strathman said she believes by having teenagers talk to their peers instead of adults talking with them, it will help the message to get across more in-depth.
"It's been really great for them to be able to go to their schools and feel like they're the ones that can talk to their peers about these topics because a lot of them are going to schools where they are not getting this education," Strathman said.
Some still want to make sure they are being careful about the message it is sending to the youth of Illinois.
"Anytime we try to substitute ourselves for the parent, I think we have a problem, whether that is with contraception or anything else," Moore said.
The program works with a youth advisory board made up of students who look to raise awareness in events at schools in Illinois.