HHS, Planned Parenthood Promote Obamacare For Teens at Church of Scientology

By Penny Starr | April 24, 2014 | 5:28 PM EDT

Athena Cross, Medicaid director of health care reform implementation at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, stands next to a bust of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, at an event on April 24, 2014 in Washington, D.C. at the Church of Scientology's National Affairs Office where attendees discussed strategy on how to get teens to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Getting teens to sign up for the Affordable Care Act and learn how to obtain contraceptives through Obamacare, was the focus of an event hosted by the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy at the Church of Scientology’s National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, a gathering that featured officials from the Health and Human Services Department and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) .

Wilma Robinson, deputy director of the HHS Office of Adolescent Health, said she was attending to explain “the impact of the Affordable Care Act on adolescents,” which she defined as girls and boys ages 10 to 19.

Athena Cross, Medicaid director of health care reform implementation at the PPFA, told attendees that she was glad the Affordable Care Act’s preventive health care mandate for women includes Intrauterine Devices (IUDs), including hormonal IUDs that can last up to 5 years.

“I think it leaves a great opportunity for us as safety-net providers to reach out to parents to encourage them to talk to their kids about contraceptive choice,” Cross said. “It’s really important.”

“Especially long-acting, reversible contraceptives, to know that they’re safe and that you can get them, you know, you won’t have to worry about them for five years,” said Cross.

She also said contraceptives like the IUD don’t require teens to use a product that requires them to remember to take a pill or replace a patch.

According to WebMD, the hormonal IUD can prevent a human embryo (fertilized egg) from implanting on the uterine wall, and thus cause a drug-induced abortion.

“This IUD prevents fertilization by damaging or killing sperm and making the mucus in the cervix thick and sticky, so sperm can't get through to the uterus,” the website text states. “It also keeps the lining of the uterus (endometrium) from growing very thick.”

This makes the lining a poor place for a fertilized egg to implant and grow,” the website text states.

The Rev. Susan Taylor, president of the Church of Scientology in D.C., showed attendees at a Thursday event  hosted by the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a video clip from the church's feature-length film "The Way to Happiness," April 24, 2014. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

But before the event started, the Rev. Susan Taylor, president of the D.C. Church of Scientology, showed a video clip of the introduction to “The Way to Happiness” a feature-length film, which shows  “the 21 precepts of the way to happiness.”

“True joy and happiness are valuable,” the narrator says in the video. “If one does not survive, no joy and no happiness are obtainable.”

“Trying to survive in a chaotic, dishonest and generally immoral society is difficult,” the narrator says. “Any individual or group seeks to obtain from life what pleasure and freedom from pain that they can.”

“While no one can guarantee that anyone else can be happy, their chances of survival and happiness can be improved,” the narrator states. “And with theirs, yours will be.”

The Church of Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986), a science fiction and fantasy novel writer who moved into the self-help genre with his 1950 book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.  Some of the well-known members of the Church of Scientology include Tom Cruise, Anne Archer and John Travolta.