Still reacting to the story of the teenager in Seattle who didn’t inform her mother before she received an abortion, columnists are beginning to hit other non-parental consent states in the west coast to rally support for new restrictive laws on teenagers seeking the procedure. California radio personality Alana Burke opines in a column that abortions without parental permission “undermine the family” and must be ended.
In California, legislation to require even parental notification has been repeatedly defeated. The only requirement is that a licensed physician performs the abortion, generally paid for with public funds. It’s 11:30 a.m. on a school day. Do you know where your daughter is?
At one point, Planned Parenthood sold “I had an abortion” T-shirts on its Web page, and in 2008 the Planned Parenthood in Indiana sold “gift certificates” that could, in addition to other services, be used for abortions. What’s next? Buy one, get one free?
The Oregonian’s “just right of center” columnist, Elizabeth Hodve, states that these types of decisions are why people don’t want their children in public schools anymore.
If you ever wonder why some parents — especially non-religious or middle- and lower-income types — choose private school over a fully funded public education, I offer up the story of an old problem made fresh again at Seattle’s Ballard High School.
In late March, news broke that the mother of a 15-year-old student at Ballard was irate after discovering that the school-based health clinic helped her daughter obtain an abortion. The procedure was performed during the school day without the parent’s knowledge. Workers arranged a taxi to take the girl to an abortion provider for the procedure and bring her back to school. The mom found out about the incident some months later and has since gone public with her complaint that she was kept out of the loop when it came to her child’s health care.
The old problem isn’t that schools or health clinics in schools are forcing kids into abortions. While that’s a concern, the old problem we have yet to resolve is that some schools and health providers, bolstered by state law, usurp parents’ rights and responsibilities. Shutting non-abusive parents out when it comes to something as serious as an abortion bothers some families. It should. As should the fact that a Seattle school student was allowed to leave campus without parent permission.
Meanwhile, in Utah, parents who attempted to get involved in reducing teen pregnancy are still reeling from the abuse and misinformation that was launched at them by anti-choice, anti-sex ed advocates. The Utah Parent Teacher Association endorsed a bill that would allow information on contraception to disbursed in classrooms, although teachers would still not be allowed to advocate for or encourage students to use them. The materials, which would be provided in part by the School Board, could then be brought home to parents who may choose to discuss them with their children.
Of course, that is not what anti-choice groups claimed the bill was about. Instead, it would teach sexuality and educate them on homosexuality.
Leaders of several groups, including Utah Eagle Forum, United Families Utah and Standard of Liberty, maintain the information they provided about the bill was accurate. But Liz Zentner, state PTA health commissioner, and bill sponsor Sen. Stephen Urquhart, said some confused the issue with inaccuracies.
“It should not have given the PTA a black eye, but through the erroneous information that went out from some groups, it made us look really bad,” Zentner said.
For example, Standard of Liberty, a Pleasant Grove-based group that aims to raise awareness about “radical sexual movements,” wrote in an e-mail to its 8,000 members that the bill would have required all districts to offer broader sex education, including instruction about homosexuality. In reality, the bill would have kept the current law’s language prohibiting teachers from advocating homosexuality and would not have meant more comprehensive sex education in schools.
Stephen Graham, Standard of Liberty president, said he stands by the statement that the bill could have led to more discussions about homosexuality had students raised questions about the issue.
But Urquhart said such misinformation led to the bill’s demise. It died after the Senate Education Committee refused to let Urquhart present an updated version for hearing.
“If someone is out there saying the bill presented homosexuality, then I think I need to run a bill on reading lessons or honesty,” Urquhart said. “What do you do in a situation like that where someone either can’t understand simple English or is willing to fabricate a story?”
Urquhart’s final version of the bill would have added language to current law clarifying that although teachers are prohibited from advocating contraception, that doesn’t mean they can’t discuss it at all. The bill also would have encouraged parental involvement and made instructional materials on contraception, including those to be prepared by the State Board of Education, available to parents.
It seems the biggest problem with reproductive health in schools is that you’re attacked for getting parents involved, and equally attacked if you don’t.
April 2, 2010
Democrats, For Life? – Death + Taxes Magazine
Abortion opponents protest at Aurora clinic – Chicago Daily Herald
Bill would alert prosecutors to teen abortions – Kansas City Star
Row rages in Italy over abortion pill – Independent
Latest News: Abortion Doctor’s Killer Uses Sentencing as Forum – Daily Break News
Pregnancy crisis centers may have to post disclaimers – Austin American-Statesman
Some anti-abortion activists see racial conspiracy – Richmond Times Dispatch
Carly Fiorina outlines her anti-abortion stance – San Francisco Chronicle
Archbishop Nichols is saving the Catholic Church from the condom trap – Telegraph.co.uk
One waste of government money that conservatives love – Chicago Tribune
Losing My Religion: One Catholic’s Crisis of Faith – Huffington Post
Maternal care should be priority – Coast Reporter
Focus on mothers, not on abortion – Toronto Sun
Women on pill ‘may live longer’ – BBC News
The Catholic Church’s Blind Spot? – CBS News
April 3, 2010
Illinois judge lifts abortion notification order – The Associated Press
Roeder Gets Life; Canada Stints on Minority’s Care – Women’s eNews
Pro-Choice, Capitals License Plates Remain in Limbo – Sun Gazette
US abortion doctor’s killer gets 50 years – Irish Independent
Scott Roeder Sentenced to “Hard 50” for Tiller Murder – Ms. Magazine
Fact Check: The abortion issue – Traverse City Record Eagle
Abortions during the school day? Parents must be told – OregonLive.com
Reproductive Fraud? Sham Pregnancy Centers Face Pushback – Huffington Post
Killer of Abortion Doctor Gets Life – FOXNews
Alana Burke: Easy teen abortions undermine the family – Record-Searchlight
Lack of sex ed would mean more abortions – Chicago Daily Herald
PTA says its sex ed stance was misunderstood – Salt Lake Tribune
April 4, 2010
Rage against Rep. Stupak is misdirected – Asheville Citizen-Times
Blacks and abortion – Sunday Paper
Church a factor in sentencing – Topeka Capital Journal
Legislature: Some work done – Topeka Capital Journal
Editorial, 4/4: Senators redirect abortion debate – Lincoln Journal Star
How to talk to your kids about sex – Mirror.co.uk
Cannon backs maternal health initiative – Globe and Mail
Syphilis rates triple in city – Cincinnati.com
HIV infections up in Wisconsin, officials say trend disturbing – BusinessNorth.com
Number of HIV cases increasing throughout state – Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
With help, Minnesota moms keep babies HIV-free – Pioneer Press
Hope for shot? Structure of HIV protein unveiled – Times of India
April 5, 2010
With ‘Social Justice’ You Don’t Get Egg Roll – American Thinker
Allen County OKs ordinance on out-of-town doctors – News Sentinel
UK program helps cut teen pregnancy rate – Louisville Courier-Journal
New Male Birth Control Option – The Stir
Mobile people more vulnerable to HIV: UN report – Jakarta Post
Vanderbilt HIV clinical trial shows promise – The Tennessean
Methadone ‘cuts HIV and death rate’ – The Press Association
Tenn. Lawmakers Advance Bills On Abortion Clinic Anti-Coercion Signs, Abortion … – Medical News Today
Miss. ‘Personhood’ Measure Set For 2011 Ballot; Neb. Considers ‘Watered-Down … – Medical News Today
UK program helps cut teen pregnancy rate – Louisville Courier-Journal
Nevada’s High Court to Hear ‘Personhood’ Appeal – Women’s eNews