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Time to Embrace My Inner Pro-Lifer March 24, 2010

Filed under: Abortion,Pro-Life — afrocity @ 9:36 AM
Tags: , , , ,

Forgive me if I’ve told you this story before…The one about how I thought I was pregnant once just from heavy petting when I was sixteen? It was a ludicrous idea because my pants never left my leg but somehow I was convinced that grinding with clothes on while listening to the Simple Minds got me knocked up.

My period was about a week late.  I had no experience with it being late before.  My mind went to that story mother told me about the woman who was impregnated by a bullet that had brushed a man’s scrotum and passed by her ovaries (Never found out if that story was true or not).

My boyfriend said I was crazy, to not worry about it. How could I tell my mother who thought I was the great black hope – college bound and destined to make her happy that she had decided not to abort me?   I decided that I would have to abort and not tell anyone- not even my mother.

My reason for not telling her?

Simply because she would kill me.

Where would I go? How would I pay for this?  There were so many times that I sat next to her on the sofa, wanting to say something but I couldn’t.  She was my best friend and I could not bring myself to ask for her help.  Why didn’t I? After all she got pregnant with my brother at 15. Shouldn’t she understand?  Didn’t she tell me to never keep secrets from her? Even if I was pregnant.

So why did I lie by omission?

Because I was afraid. That’s all and did not want her to know. I needed her help but fear kept me from speaking to her and I am almost certain that fear kept this 15 year old in Seattle from speaking to her mother.

From this article in KOMO News dated March 23, 2010

Mother furious after in-school clinic sets up teen’s abortion

SEATTLE The mother of a Ballard High School student is fuming after the health center on campus helped facilitate her daughter’s abortion during school hours.

The mother, whom KOMO News has chosen to identify only as “Jill,” says the clinic kept the information “confidential.”

When she signed a consent form, Jill figured it meant her 15 year old could go to the Ballard Teen Health Center located inside the high school for an earache, a sports physical, even birth control, but not for help terminating a pregnancy.

“She took a pregnancy test at school at the teen health center,” she said. “Nowhere in this paperwork does it mention abortion or facilitating abortion.”

Jill says her daughter, a pro-life advocate, was given a pass, put in a taxi and sent off to have an abortion during school hours all without her family knowing.

“We had no idea this was being facilitated on campus,” said Jill. “They just told her that if she concealed it from her family, that it would be free of charge and no financial responsibility.”

The Seattle School District says it doesn’t run the health clinics at high schools. Swedish Medical Center runs the clinic at Ballard High and protects the students’ privacy.

T.J. Cosgrove of the King County Health Department, which administers the school-based programs for the health department, says it’s always best if parents are involved in their children’s health care, but don’t always have a say.

“At any age in the state of Washington, an individual can consent to a termination of pregnancy,” he said.

But Jill says she not only didn’t have a say in her daughter’s abortion, but also didn’t know about it.

“Makes me feel like my rights were completely stripped away.”

At 15 years of age, I still depended upon my mother for shelter, clothing and food.  She signed my report card, my field trip consent forms, she showed up to the welfare office to prove that she was taking care of me.  There were times when she did not feel like braving the Chicago winter to ride 3 buses to my high school for parent/teacher night- but she did. She could have said “get the hell out of my house Afrocity”  when ever she got angry with me- but she didn’t.

So why didn’t I give her the gift of trust?

Long story short. I was not pregnant.  Never before had a red spot made me so happy.  I told my mother afterward and she basically said had I told her earlier, she would have told me that I was NOT pregnant and saved me seven days of acid stomach and chewed pencils.   ” I am your mother and I have a right to know, ” she said.  “You could die from an abortion if you don’t find the right person- that’s surgery you know…you need help getting home.”

I am pro-choice. I always will be but- and this is a big but.  I believe that a child underage should notify their parents.

According to Washington state law, this mother did not have to give consent but I can feel and understand her outrage over learning that her daughter was taken to have an abortion during school hours.  What if her daughter came home that day and hemorrhaged in the upstairs bedroom while mom was gleefully downstairs watching Jay Leno?

A mother should know.  And to the young women out there, if you are in trouble, give your parents a chance to help you get out of trouble.  They would be happy to know that you trusted them rather than a stranger. If your parent is the enemy, as the case in the movie Precious, then you go to a trusted ADULT, family member etc.

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24 Responses to “Time to Embrace My Inner Pro-Lifer”

  1. Leah Says:

    Once again, the left strikes at their worst enemy – the family. I’m not talking about the unborn baby but about the parents.
    A strong family unit is the biggest guarantee against government control. Without strong family ties the government gets to take over. (healthcare anyone???)

    It’s never about what’s best for the young pregnant girl, it’s about alienating children from parents. If these schools really cared about the kids, they would be the mediator and be the first ones to bring the parents into the pictures. They are anything but that, they want to encourage the rift between parents and children and take over the role of being the parent.

    • Patti Says:

      “The Seattle School District says it doesn’t run the health clinics at high schools. Swedish Medical Center runs the clinic at Ballard High and protects the students’ privacy.”

      Schools are not to blame for everything. Read the article. The school did not make her pregnant. It is not the school’s business to intervene. She more than likely did not tell school authorities anyway, which she has no obligation to do.

      • Holly Says:

        I understand your point, but at the same time this was performed on school property, which the taxpayers fund. Just because the school does not oversee the clinic, it is on their property (i.e. taxpayer property) and they are responsible for the students on campus during the school hours. The school must be aware of all policies and fully inform all parents of all activities being performed on campus.

      • afrocity Says:

        Holly do you think this would have happened had it been a Catholic school?

      • Holly Says:

        Excellent question.

        If you are asking would a hypothetical clinic have followed the same procedure, I can say with near certainty no. Most, if not all faith based institutions, especially at institutions where the children are underage, have codes of conduct they must follow. Abortion is in conflict with religious teachings, so I do not see how this could occur. If the child or parent does not fulfill and adhere to the contract, especially in a Catholic school (i.e. the school’s mission statement, statement of faith, statement of principle, etc.) the child can be removed from the school.

        If for some reason it did occur, the parent absolutely still has the right to know about the happenings in the institution. This though would not affect the taxpayer because a private, faith based school is paid for by the admission costs of its students. For this reason I believe it would be even harder to conceive of this happening because these parents, in my experience, are very active in their child’s curriculum and have power within the school to create policy changes.

        All parents put their faith into whichever school their child attends to take care of their general welfare while at school, surgery is not general welfare.

  2. responsible mom Says:

    Forget about what she had done, the biggest problem is that the school put this child in a cab to a clinic during school hours. If you go on a school field trip you MUST have parental consent. I am not getting into the abortion debate, my only concern is that this school encouraged her to lie to her parents to have this proceedure. The 15 year old obviously has free unparented time as she got pregnant, so she should have been given the phone number and address and gone after school not during school. This debate is going into the pro life/choice side, and really it is about sending a child out of school during the middle of the school day. What if the cab had an accident on the way there or back? Provide all the information to the child but do not use our precious school funds to send a child by cab to a clinic.
    Have a great day!

    • afrocity Says:

      I agree with you. They should not have done it during school hours. Give her the number to planned parenthood and possibly do follow-up later.

  3. liontooth Says:

    Afrocity when you say you’re pro-choice, do you feel that choice is for the entire 9 months of a pregnancy?

    • afrocity Says:

      I do not support late term abortion if that is what you are asking me.

      • liontooth Says:

        I was just wondering how you defined being pro-choice. I don’t see a morning-after pill and an abortion at week 24 as the same thing.

      • afrocity Says:

        I do not think of a morning after pill as an abortion. You may not be pregnant when you take a morning after pill.

  4. garnette Says:

    I am pro-choice, but I agree with you that parents should be told if a minor is having an abortion. It is major surgery. It is done under general anesthesia where a lot can go wrong. It really gets me that while a woman has to be 18 to get a tattoo or body piercing without parental consent a minor child can go through the major surgery of an abortion without the parent ever finding out.

    • afrocity Says:

      Garnette I did not know about the tattoo law. That is a major contradiction.

      • garnette Says:

        When I said body piercing, I include pierced ears. So, even for something that minor they need parental consent, but not for having major surgery.

  5. Holly Says:

    No one should be surprised by this story. I live in WA state and we are under the reigns of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the schools do not have to notify the parents of the happenings in the classroom or during the school hours. This includes: abortions, rated R movies, sexual education, etc. No parents permission slip, no parental notification, nothing.

    The truly disturbing part is that because the CHILD is a minor, the parents are legally responsible for her health if something goes wrong during the procedure. If she were to die, the doctors nor the school would be responsible for the death.

    Whether people agree or not, children have limited rights in comparison to adults for a reason, and that is because children cannot protect for their own general welfare, that is the responsibility of the parents. Now the state wants to be the parent.

  6. yttik Says:

    It’s not pro-life or pro-choice, Afrocity, it’s just pro-common sense. Nobody wants young girls left all alone to deal with a situation like this.

  7. gs Says:

    Unfortunately there are kids who know that if they go to their parents with a problem, they now have two problems. I endorse your wisdom in mentioning a trusted adult as an alternative.

    Don’t have time to go into detail, but Amy Richards deserves mention. Unbelievable.

  8. gs Says:

    Af, I see that, for the first time here, my comment has dropped into a moderation queue.

    Did my previous comment offend you or is this a new policy or ____? What’s going on?

    • afrocity Says:


      WordPress sends some comments into spam automatically. I do not always check the filter but your comment is released.

  9. Rick Says:

    And yet the government gives us no choice on many issues and little choice on others. Why does the government want us to have choice in this matter but not others?

  10. ugsome Says:

    This is neither a pro-life nor a pro-choice problem, neither left nor right.

    Such deep estrangement between parent and child arises long before a pregnancy crisis. It happens in liberal and conservative families. It is neither the result of liberal or conservative ideologies, but of the relationship between unique individuals living under a particular set of pressures of which they alone have full knowledge.

    It is absurd to blame conservatism for daughters’ fear of telling their mothers or liberalism for destroying the family.

    I agree, Afrocity, that young women need to turn to their parents. And parents need to support their daughters at such a time as never before–as well as realizing that the pregnancy was the work of two, not one. I do not believe it is possible in every single case, but I would like to see every effort made to bring parents and child together.

  11. NWLuna Says:

    I live in Washington state and I’m a health-care clinician. The state law only allows teens 14 and older to received health care services without their parents just for reproductive health care services.

    This means that any health care clinic should have been able to provide reproductive health care to this patient. Proximity to school had nothing to do with it. In the ideal family situation, the teen would of course have a loving parent with her. But unfortunately not all families are ideal. Teens deserve safe reproductive health care regardless of how close they are to their parents. If the teen felt she couldn’t trust her mother, saddling her with an unwanted pregnancy won’t help.

    Unfortunately I’ve seen teens who’ve been beaten up by parents after the teen confided in them.

    The “morning after” pill won’t abort a pregnancy, BTW. It usually, but not always, helps prevent a pregnancy from occurring if it hasn’t yet.

    Frankly, I don’t believe the story about putting the teen in a taxi and sending her off. I suspect she had a companion she didn’t want to get in trouble by naming.

    It is a sorry situation and I hope the mother and daughter find reconciliation.

  12. Diane Says:

    OK – I’m playing catch up with your recent blog posts, but I have to talk about the pro-life blog. I am 61 yrs. old. Birth control pills were not available to me when I was a teenager. Getting pregnant was about the worst thing a girl could do in those days – her reputation was ruined, she was shunned, she was sent away, it was awful. I am a Conservative who is pro-choice, mainly because society made it such a damn sin for a woman to get pregnant out of wedlock. No woman should be forced to endure it. That being said, I believe in parental notification and I do not believe in partial birth abortion. I just wish girls would use the birth control pills that are so easily available to them. We never had that choice. Thank you for letting me vent!

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