Judicial Watch • Public School Helps Girl Get Abortion

Public School Helps Girl Get Abortion

Public School Helps Girl Get Abortion

MARCH 24, 2010

 

In an unbelievable case that should outrage parents across the country, a public high school in Washington State helped a 15-year-old student get an abortion during school hours without parental consent.

The teenage girl had taken a pregnancy test at the school’s health center, according to a local news report, and administrators subsequently arranged for her to get an abortion at a county-run clinic. The girl was given a pass during school hours, put in a taxi and sent off to a local facility that’s overseen by the King County Health Department in Seattle. It is not known what classes she missed or if she will be allowed to make up the work.

The girl’s mother says the only consent form she signed allowed her daughter to be treated at the school’s health center for ailments such as earaches and sports physicals but not for terminating a pregnancy. She assures that nowhere in the paperwork does it mention “abortion or facilitating abortion.”

Clinic officials told the girl that if she concealed the pregnancy from her family, the abortion would be free of charge and there would be no financial responsibility. The school (Ballard High) is the Seattle District which is the largest in Washington State with more than 45,000 students in 88 schools.

District officials claim they have no knowledge of what goes on in the high school clinics because the district doesn’t run them. The private company that operates the health facilities, Swedish Medical Center, protects students’ privacy and never divulges medical information, they say.

The county is ultimately responsible however, because the school clinics are administered by the King County Health Department. The official who oversees the school medical centers points out that in Washington State an individual of any age can consent to an abortion therefore no wrongdoing has been committed.

Indeed, state law says that parents’ permission is not required for a minor to obtain an abortion, pregnancy test, birth control methods or tests for sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS. It is also not necessary to notify a parent before or after the procedure or test. No provision allows a child to miss school without parental consent, however.

Since 1976, the U.S. government has banned (Hyde Amendment) the use of federal money to pay for abortions but many states—like Washington—use local dollars to fund the procedures at public clinics.


 

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