Planned Parenthood announced Thursday the launch of a “sexual health chatbot” that it hopes will bring the abortion provider’s version of “sex education” to its target audience – children and teens.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) January 24, 2019
“Planned Parenthood is thrilled to announce the launch of Roo, our new sexual health chatbot,” Planned Parenthood said in a press statement. “The first tool of its kind, Roo is designed to help young people visiting PlannedParenthood.org get personalized information instantly — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
Monica Cline, a former HIV and sex-ed educator for Planned Parenthood, told Breitbart News that, with its launching of Roo, Planned Parenthood “is harnessing the power of the digital world to purposely circumvent parents and steer children towards deceptive and harmful practices.”
“They are delivering a service straight to their target market, hoping to make lifelong customers that will eventually spend a not insignificant amount of money with Planned Parenthood for everything from pregnancy and STD tests to abortions, sometimes multiple ones,” Cline asserted.
In fact, Planned Parenthood says Roo – which was developed in partnership with Work & Co – is “designed for 13- to 17-year-olds,” but can be used by children of any age.
“Texting and instant messaging are the most common reasons young people are on their phones, so a chatbot is an ideal tool when it comes to delivering fast, personalized information,” says the organization.
Children and teens can get immediate information about sex by simply texting Roo at 22422 around the clock.
— NARAL (@NARAL) January 25, 2019
Since the chatbot is powered by artificial intelligence, the more it is used, the more it learns about what children want to know about sex and can then provide even more specific information.
AdAge offered perspective on the political motivation behind the bot:
Initiatives like this one are meant to help Planned Parenthood give information to hard-to-reach audiences like teenagers who don’t receive sex education or are receiving abstinence-only education. In recent years Planned Parenthood has been on the offensive about the breadth of resources they provide as conservative lawmakers and anti-abortion groups have sought to defund the organization.
“At Planned Parenthood, we want to make it as easy as possible to get everyone the education and health care they need, when they need it, no matter what method of communication works best for them,” said Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, in the statement. “It’s important that our youth receive a reliable answer they can trust.”
To develop Roo, Work & Co used data gathered from teens at MESA (Math Engineering Science Academy) High School – a charter school – in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York.
In September, a new California law required charter schools to teach Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) – which assumes most children will be sexually active – thanks to the lobbying efforts of Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.
At that time, Cline told Breitbart News she views Planned Parenthood’s sex education strategy as “very similar to how pedophiles prepare children for them to have sex with them. You start to break down their natural inhibitions.”
One of the first exercises in comprehensive sex education—and you see this across the board in all the comprehensive sex education courses that you’ll find in any public school—is that you start to try to break the ice by asking the kids to tell you all the slang words that they know about sex or body parts. And they giggle, and they’re nervous, and you can tell that they’re inhibited, but they start to break down that barrier, those inhibitions.
In a video produced in 2017 by And Then There Were None, an organization that helps abortion workers leave their jobs, Cline, who worked as HIV health educator at Planned Parenthood of Texas/New Mexico, said Planned Parenthood instructed its workers, “Parents are a barrier to service. We don’t want parents involved.”
“Planned Parenthood, again, is very aggressive,” Cline said in the video. “They are a sales team. They want to make money, and they want as many customers as possible.”