This happened last week, but I’m just now getting around to talking about it. It’s probably a good thing I’m not a reporter.
(Edit: I updated the link with a more in-depth story.)
In Washington state, an underage girl can get an abortion without parental consent. We’ll talk about that in a minute. Recently (it was reported last week, but the story doesn’t say when the incident occurred), a 15 year old girl got a pregnancy test at the school’s health clinic. It was positive. The school put her in a cab and sent her to a clinic, during school hours, to have the abortion. The story quotes the mother, “They just told her that if she concealed it from her family, that it would be free of charge and no financial responsibility.”
There’s not enough information in the story to really figure out what happened. Did the school pay for the abortion? Did the school pay for the cab? How did the mother find out? Which brings up another question. Now that the mother knows, does the student have to pay for the abortion?
I have some real problems with this. I don’t really have a problem with the school clinic giving the girl the pregnancy test. If schools hand out condoms, they ought to hand out a pregnancy test. I do have problems with the rest of it, though. First, I don’t think a consent form for a kid to be treated at a school clinic gives the school the right to send the kid off of school property for any reason. What if the cab had been in a wreck? What if there were complications with the procedure? Who would be there to consent to life-saving treatment if something went drastically wrong? The school principal?
I also have problems with not requiring parental consent for medical procedures. I get that some kids really can’t talk to their parents. I understand that sometimes it’s not a matter of not wanting to talk to parents, but that talking about a teen pregnancy with parents can be more dangerous than an abortion. There are ways around getting parental consent. It’s called forgery. Not that I ever forged my parent’s signature on a report card or anything, because that definitely never happened, Mom.
Oh, and also? Ricky Martin is gay.