The state of Massachusetts has been forking over $100,000 per year to the AIDS Action Committee, which in turn funnels a portion of that money into a web site called Mariatalks.com, which is a teen-friendly site focusing on sex ed. It answers questions ranging from birth control to STDs and everything in between in a candid, teen to teen way. But where the two sites differ is a doozy, so much so that it makes PP look almost conservative. (Please note the 'almost' - but more on that later)
In a report in the Boston Herald:
Maria tells teen readers abortion is a “hot topic” but that the procedure is “more common than you might think” and “safe and effective, though some people may experience temporary discomfort.” The site’s discussion of risk is limited to advising that it is better to get an abortion sooner rather than later.
Planned Parenthood, by contrast, at least mentions the possible side effects, such as “infection,” “blood-clotting,” “injury to the cervix or other organs,” and “an incomplete abortion.” Gee, it doesn't seem to be such a walk in the park now, does it? This might have some repercussions! As for the psychological issues, Maria counsels that it:
“can be pretty tough for some people, especially emotionally.”
Oh wait, that's what she said about adoption. Here's what she said about abortion:
...one of her fictional friends found it a “difficult decision” but decided the procedure was the “best choice . . . for herself, her boyfriend, her family and her future.”
Yup, just a choice; no deep thinking here! No guilt, no sadness, no second thoughts - it's the best choice! It's the only choice! The hardest part about it is the decision, really.
But if it's no big deal, why is it such a difficult decision? It's not like there's a life hanging in the balance, right?
Which brings us to facilitation:
“The reality of getting an abortion is much easier than it sounds here.”
Really? How easy? After all, MA state law requires parental consent for any girl under the age of 18 to get an abortion. No problemo, good ol' Maria has an answer for everything, including the caveat for my praise of PP's site that I mentioned in the first paragraph (emphasis mine):
Maria notes that state law allows minors to skirt that approval through a confidential judicial hearing, saying, “I know it sounds crazy . . . this really can be done and young women do this all the time here in Massachusetts.”
The site then directs teens to Planned Parenthood, saying that agency will either help them talk to parents or provide a lawyer to guide them through the judicial process.
PP is now offering underaged girls lawyers so they can get secret abortions? Who's paying for that? It would be nice to know that no taxpayer dollars are going into that kitty. As the parent of two daughters, this enrages me. This movement to help our underaged daughters obtain abortions in secret has to stop. As mentioned above, these surgical procedures bring risks because they're surgical procedures. If nothing else, parents need to be notified so they can care for their daughter on a medical level, not to mention the many emotional issues she might experience. The problem is, notifying the parent would give them the opportunity to talk to their child and help her make an informed decision. Yes, they might be angry. Maybe disappointed. Definitely sad. But for the majority of parents faced with this dilemma, the health and well being of their daughter outweighs it all and they help and support her.
Unfortunately, what Maria Talks, Planned Parenthood and others are telling our daughters is that making a life-changing decision like abortion and getting a secret judicial bypass (not to mention the abortion itself) is easier than having to tell their parents about it.
Posters for Maria Talks are being put up in high school nurse's offices across the state. The website has crashed due to the controversy. One hopes that when it is restored, the segments on abortion will have been purged and replaced with a more realistic, less happy-go-lucky view of the topic, as well as no further reference to bypassing parental consent laws. That the state is sponsoring a site that facilitates secret abortions for underaged girls is disgraceful. If the AIDS Action Committee cannot get Maria Talks to remove the information about judicial end runs around parental rights and cannot separate the money they receive from the state from their funding for the site, the state should pull all funding until they can.
As a side note, an investigation into PP's legal defense arm would no doubt be enlightening, too. How many of those underaged girls seeking judicial bypass for abortions are being molested or victimized in some way, and how many are getting the help they need - and I don't mean an abortion.