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7 Bumps

Should tax dollars go to fund this?

I am pro choice in very limited situations, but this goes to far, IMO

A state-funded sex education Web site that tells teens an abortion is “much easier than it sounds” has drawn fire from outraged pro-lifers who say is glossing over ugly truths, steering teens toward the controversial procedure and counseling them how to keep mom and dad in the dark.

“The commonwealth is using taxpayer money to tell kids how to get a secret abortion, and that’s wrong,” said Linda Thayer, a former Boston schoolteacher who is vice president for educational affairs of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, which this week took aim at the site.

“This is a misuse of state funds, especially for parents who are taxpayers,” said Thayer, who also blasted the Web site for “deception by omission” for describing abortion simply as “when the contents of the womb (uterus) are removed.”, featuring fictional hip teen “Maria,” who addresses teens in a breezy tone, has been produced since 2008 by the AIDS Action Committee with $100,000 annual grants from the state Department of Public Health. The money also covers a sex-crisis hotline and other outreach efforts.

AIDS Action Committee chief Rebecca Haag, in a statement defending the Web site, said, “We feel strongly that the issues that are addressed through the Maria Talks Web site are essential in safeguarding the general, sexual health of youth by informing them of their risk for unintended pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”

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 declined to comment on the language used by However, the abortion provider’s own Internet abortion advice includes a lengthy list of potential health risks — such as “infection,” “blood-clotting,” “injury to the cervix or other organs,” and “an incomplete abortion.”

In another segment, Maria says to Massachusetts teens, “The reality of getting an abortion is much easier than it sounds here.” In contrast, a more cautionary Maria counsels on another page that adoption “can be pretty tough for some people, especially emotionally.”

Of conflicted feelings over abortion, Maria counsels that 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.”

Of bypassing parental approval, Maria says, “It may be really hard for you to imagine talking to either your parents or a judge about getting an abortion, but there are people who can help you through it.”

By comparison, Planned Parenthood explicitly states, “Teens are encouraged to involve parents in their decision.”

Under state law, children under 18 seeking an abortion must have permission from a parent or a guardian. 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.

NARAL Pro-Choice America Executive Director Andrea Miller called Maria Talks “terrific.”

“It’s really a complete and medically accurate set of information,” Miller said. “I’m impressed that the state has provided this information in a youth-friendly, nonjudgmental manner.”

State health officials had no immediate comment on the controversy over the site yesterday.

Answer Question

Asked by Carpy at 7:33 PM on Apr. 20, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (114,053 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • of course tax money should not fund such a ridiculous site! it should not fund any abortion for any woman, ever, because that is something that their insurance or self should pay for!

    Answer by MommyWife224 at 7:50 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I can't get the website to come up. If the site does say what this article claims it says, in the language it says it does, I agree that it's inappropriate.

    Answer by adnilm at 7:52 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • NO.

    Answer by lovinangels at 7:53 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Oh, not pro and anti abortion rhetoric again .! Can't you give it a rest ?

    Teens should be well-informed and I am sure that the small amount of money entailed is not begrudged by most reasonable and intelligent people .

    Answer by janet116 at 7:54 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • It loaded for me. I checked it out to confirm before I posted.

    Comment by Carpy (original poster) at 8:04 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • No it shouldn't. IMO teens shouldn't be able to get an abortion without parental consent. They must have consent for other medical procedures and that is what an abortion is. Yeah, yeah I know about privacy...but that is what is wrong with a lot of todays teens...too MUCH privacy and not enough parenting.


    Answer by yourspecialkid at 8:41 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • NO!

    Answer by agentwanda at 8:50 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I personally know Linda Thayer...she is friends with and worked with my mother, who was also a Boston school teacher.

    I support her position on this issue.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 8:52 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I'm in California - I supported a teen's right to an abortion without parental consent. Not every family is willing to help a teen through a pregnancy and possible adoption. If a teen is at risk of being made to live on the streets because of an accidental pregnancy, then it's in her best interest to not need parental consent.

    Anyway. I think government funding is fine if it's informing teens of the facts, and not making it look like sunshine and daisies. I didn't go to the site you mentioned, but from what the article says I don't see how that's helpful in any way.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 8:57 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • And the truth comes out.... again. Disgusting and I'm all for children under 18 not being able to get an abortion without parental knowledge and permission

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 9:19 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

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