Around New England

Planned Parenthood Has Donated To Worcester Mayor’s Campaigns

May 5, 2021

Planned Parenthood’s Massachusetts political action committee has donated to Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty’s campaigns.

Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts donated staff time to help with year-end campaign reports on two occasions, according to records of the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

The first was valued at $397.60 on November 30, 2015. The second was valued at $111.37 on November 28, 2017.

This Week In Worcester reported in July 2019 that email messages show that Petty met with Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, the president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, and Kimberly Kargman, the organizing manager at Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, “to talk about sex ed in Worcester and some of the challenges” that Petty was encountering.

Roshak also recommended, according to an email message reported by This Week In Worcester, that the mayor meet with a certain sex education expert with experience in “coalition building” in Boston, which is about 40 miles east of Worcester, so that the meeting “might be more under the radar.”

Roshak donated $100 to Petty’s campaign fund on August 28, 2017, according to state Office of Campaign and Political Finance records.

As mayor, Petty is chairman of the Worcester School Committee, which is expected to vote Thursday, May 6 on whether to adopt a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum published by Advocates for Youth.

Supporters say the curriculum would provide students information they need and ways to deal with life situations – including for students attracted to members of the same sex or who identify with a gender that does not correspond to their biological sex.

Opponents say the curriculum degrades human sexuality and promotes destructive behavior, and that it also is not age-appropriate.

Petty, who graduated from a Catholic high school in Worcester, was first elected mayor of Worcester in 2011. He is serving his fifth two-year term.