Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hey, it’s not like she was carrying aspirin, ok?

PHOTO: Ballard High School, Seattle, Washington

If you are a young parent whose child attends a public school, you have never really had your intelligence insulted, until the administration of that school tries to tell you that, with their experience in teaching and caring for hundreds of children, they know better than you what's good for your own child. But that's exactly what happened to us when Paul attended Oakton Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the late 1990s. (Sometimes I'm just in the mood for naming names. Deal with it.)

So I shouldn't really be surprised, when I read stuff like this:

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.

The deal was, if she kept the parents out of it, the whole thing would be paid for. Ed Morrissey of Hot Air believes that the school put pressure on the girl to get the abortion. He thinks he has an idea how.

But wait, this gets better.

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.

The most adamantly pro-choice among us should be outraged at the school, and at the system that enables it. Even if you think abortions should be free for everybody for any damn fool reason, and completely paid for by tax dollars, the fact remains that it is an invasive medical procedure that is not without some risk. Just ask the several hundred women in the USA who die from LEGAL abortions every year. (Oh wait, that's right. They're dead. Never mind.) Any institution that has that kind of control over your own children, is an institution that is unaware of any limits to its domain. You can NEVER assume that you will be okay with every decision they make. Indeed, such an institution is either to be feared, or stopped, even to the point of shutting it down.

Hopefully, some stalwart pro-life attorney will take the parents' case to court pro bono. It's a long shot, because taking on the public school, means taking on the state. Even in cases like this. Even in cases where your kid gets roughed up in the locker room. Even when it's the coach of the freshman football team at Oakton High School during the 2000 season. (Go Cougars!)

Besides, every lawyer who's ever felt his heart quicken at the sound of an ambulance knows, that the real money is in going after Catholic schools.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The most adamantly pro-choice among us should be outraged at the school, and at the system that enables it.

Well they should be, but explicitly they are not. See the Planned Parenthood brochure pdf page 18:

"You should find out whether there any centres near to you where you can go without needing the permission of your parents or
guardians. You should also make sure that you can trust the staff not to tell anyone you were there or why."