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Mother says Ballard High School health clinic facilitated abortion

Posted by Geeky Swedes on March 24th, 2010

The mother of a 15 year-old Ballard High School student tells KOMO that the Ballard Teen Health Center at the school facilitated her daughter’s abortion, and kept the information private.

According to the report, the mother signed a consent form, which she assumed was to allow her daughter to visit the clinic. Abortion, she says, isn’t mentioned in the paperwork. The mother tells KOMO that she later found out that staff at the clinic, which is run by Swedish Medical Center, put her daughter in a taxi during school hours to have an abortion.”We had no idea this was being facilitated on campus,” the mother told the news channel. “They just told her that if she concealed it from her family, that it would be free of charge and no financial responsibility.”

KOMO spoke with T.J. Cosgrove of the King County Health Department who says that females of any age in our state can consent to a termination of pregnancy, and the parents don’t necessarily have to be notified.

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244 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 blueben // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Abstinence. Yeah, that's a fresh suggestion. It hasn't worked for the thousands of years churches have been harping about it. What makes you think that you'll do any better?

  • 2 blueben // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    What kind of jackass claims that going to have an abortion is “fun”? How vile.

  • 3 blueben // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Welcome to Earth. Life sucks. We do the best we can.

  • 4 HeatherHeather // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Ohhhhhhhhh man. If that were my daughter she'd be hand-delivered to school and escorted home every day until her 18th birthday. And grounded from any non-family activity until then. The thought of my 4 year old even KISSING someone makes me ill, much less them sexually active at 15 and pregnant. Reading this nearly makes me nauseated.

    I say this as a previous 15 year old…FIFTEEN YEAR OLDS ARE ALL NOT NEARLY AS SMART/WISE/CONSCIOUS AS THEY THINK THEY ARE. They still need the guidance and consent of their parents. I really really really hope they pass some laws prohibiting this kind of stuff very soon. 15 year olds should not have the authority do make decisions that large.

  • 5 blueben // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Yes. Only people who make profits say anything worth listening to.

  • 6 HeatherHeather // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    No offense, but having sex at 14 isn't anything to be proud of.

  • 7 HeatherHeather // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    good point. I haven't read any of these comments and judging by your comment I don't think I will.

  • 8 Camay // Mar 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Kim: You can't be serious. When the chances of b/c failing being so slim, your arugment is lame.

  • 9 Camay // Mar 25, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    I think the issue here was the KOMO article, not whether or not a bunch of teenagers were speculating and gossiping. In that regard, I agree that someone may have indeed witnessed the cab ride.

  • 10 beep2 // Mar 26, 2010 at 12:24 am

    So when I have a kid, and they are a minor, thus my responsibility until they are 18 years of age. That BHS can make the decisions for me when it comes for major medical procedures and that if I say anything, everyone in this nice community will simply tell me to back off and that it's none of my business. The school without talking to me will judge me unfit to raise my child based upon inuendo and if my kid is pissed off at me for not letting them have a cellphone that week. That's just great.

    Because if I do my job as a parent, I will be scorned, and if I don't, I will be scorned. I do believe there is a organization called Child Protective Services involved. And any of you cheering the school on, if you have kids, just think about if that situation comes to your door!

    So parenting now means, feed and house a child, but don't dare say anything, because the school will do it for you, and if you do, everyone in the community will say back off.

    If you believe the mother is that much in the wrong, then call Child Protective Services right now on her. Her mother has right to a fair trial, and if judged, her child will be placed elsewhere.

  • 11 ballardbell // Mar 26, 2010 at 12:28 am

    That really worked for Bristol Palin – Once again you should go and check out what the statistics are on teaching kids abstinence.

  • 12 ballardbell // Mar 26, 2010 at 12:31 am

    This is really a little over dramatic and really stretching it. Once again – just do your job as a parent.

  • 13 ballardbell // Mar 26, 2010 at 12:31 am

    This is really a little over dramatic and really stretching it. Once again – just do your job as a parent.

  • 14 beep2 // Mar 26, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Then butt the hell out of my parenting!

  • 15 ballardbell // Mar 26, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Unfortunately, your emotional over dramatic logic misses the point completely.

  • 16 Name // Mar 26, 2010 at 3:57 am

    You're right, if i was a parent of a pregnant teen i would do my job as a parent and drive her to the abortionist.
    lets see you try to stop a teenager from doing what they want.

  • 17 Name // Mar 26, 2010 at 4:11 am

    yeah, its just natural.

  • 18 Name // Mar 26, 2010 at 4:13 am

    hahaha i wish they made that much

  • 19 Name // Mar 26, 2010 at 4:17 am

    who was murdered?
    i thought she just had a growth removed from her.
    didn't know any conscious human beings were killed in the process, did someone slip in the operating room?

  • 20 chompy // Mar 26, 2010 at 4:20 am

    I'm surprised the mother isn't just pissed that her daughter was having sex and got pregnant in the first place.

  • 21 Name // Mar 26, 2010 at 4:22 am

    oh no, now a baby wont be born into poverty without the mothers supervision for most of its early life.
    its not like she could just wait until she is 25 with a house, income, and partner and bring a child into this world the PROPER way or anything.

    naw lets just rush this and force a 15 year old (likely freshman) to give birth, and go to college with a 4 year old.

  • 22 Name // Mar 26, 2010 at 4:24 am

    because sex is sex.
    it happens.

  • 23 LoftyAspirant // Mar 26, 2010 at 4:45 am

    What if something had happened to the daughter during the “procedure?” Who would have been responsible then? This is craziness — I expect this law will not remain as written for long. I imagine many who think it's not an issue are not parents. Perspective is everything — and most kids don't have it at 15 (or even 18).

  • 24 LoftyAspirant // Mar 26, 2010 at 4:54 am

    You said it yourself: “The stupidity of teenagers can't be prevented.” That's why parents are concerned about this but, you're probably a teenager and don't get it.

  • 25 Name // Mar 26, 2010 at 5:29 am

    I go to Ballard High, and here in Washington State the school only funds part of the Teen Health Center, anything vaguely relating to Reproductive Health is immediately sealed off from the schools general files. Washington state's reproductive health law pays for anyone to consult and receive Reproductive Health services without anyone else knowing. Without this Reproductive Health services without anyone else knowing. Without this law, teens like myself would make decisions like the decision to have an abortion with their parents who are usually heavily distraught after learning of the pregnancy. Would you want to talk to an angry parent about YOUR HEALTH? I wouldn't. This Teen after her consultation with the staff at the Teen Health Center was able to choose what she wanted to do with HER body.

  • 26 DavidB // Mar 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I'm sure mom would have been happier to force her daughter to have the baby. The daughter then could drop out of high school and forego college so she could responsibly take care of her baby. This would set her up to be forever dependent on mom and she'd likely live a life of impoverishment the rest of her life.

    That sure would teach her a lesson for being so irresponsible and having “unsafe” sex.

    Mom needs to come to terms that her daughter is free to have her own opinions and it's her body, her choice. I think she made the right decision!

  • 27 ivers03 // Mar 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Good Point! Some very good questions that should be answered. The school should have strict rules and guidelines for this organization. Even though they are privet they are working on school property are they not? Therefore the parents should have been notified so they could give permission for their child to take a “field trip”.

  • 28 Mrs. Swede // Mar 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    As a mother of two teenage girls (one of whom attends BHS and one who will next year) I am so saddened that this girl's personal choice and body is now open for discussion apparently nationally now. The mom is putting such a huge canyon between herself and her daughter by making a legal and media issue of this. What this girl needs is compassion from her mom and her classmates. Being one who speaks from experience it was probably one of the first major decisions (besides having sex in the first place) that this girl has had to make on her own and she was probably scared and could've used the support from a loving parent(s) to get through this. Instead now she has to try to stay anonymous despite her mother pursuing a lawsuit and it could get ugly. You should see what the students are already saying on Facebook about this issue! They are more afraid of the school's reputation than this poor girl.

    On a positive note, this week has been a good opportunity to talk again about sex and choices and what ifs in our home. Just wish it wasn't at the expense of someone's else's suffering.

  • 29 ethel // Mar 26, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Slim?! Have you checked failure rates lately? And it's not all up to her — if the couple used condoms, there are lots of ways they can be used incorrectly or fail.

  • 30 HeatherHeather // Mar 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm

  • 31 HeatherHeather // Mar 26, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    sex is actually more than just sex, fyi.

  • 32 HeatherHeather // Mar 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    It seems odd to me that so many things teenagers aren't allowed to do to their bodies without parental consent (piercings, tattoos, scarification, elective surgeries, etc.) and yet they have the choice to have an abortion without parental consent? What's the rub? Where is the line between what is okay for a teen to decide about their body and what is something the parents have to consent to?

  • 33 minoritytryingtoparent // Mar 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I have 2 kids currently at BHS & one graduated. Believe me: THERE IS NO STIGMA. Also, the teen health center cruised lunch time last year inviting girls in to get the HPV vaccine – again without the parent's knowledge. It's like the teen center makes the parents out to be the “enemy” and pushes their liberal agenda on everyone. My only way to combat my government enforced lack of authority is to threaten my kids with a boot out the door if they break home rules – like having nonmarital sex.

  • 34 margotthom // Mar 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    A pregnancy test then straight off to the abortion clinic?!!! You would think they get a kickback for every child they refer. If I was that mother I would be beyond furious and do my best to shut down the school and Swedish for going behind my back and 'parenting' my child by helping her kill her baby. 'If you don't tell your mom it will be free'. Unreal!!!

  • 35 QAGirl // Mar 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I'm a parent of a student who attended BHS and have friends who are parents of current students of BHS. And have for many years received and reviewed and signed that tons of paperwork the students bring home at the beginning of each year. It's a task to go through all the paperwork. Some of the stuff can be missed, but the medical paperwork as well as the parent consent forms have to be read & re-read before signing.

  • 36 ivers03 // Mar 26, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    HeatherHeather you got that right. The one thing that most people really don't get and never talk about is the emotional attachment that happens when a young girl, or woman for that matter, has sex. Do they ever talk about that in Sex Ed I bet not it's just all fun and games until someone get pregnant.

  • 37 ktown69 // Mar 26, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Wow, $70K, really? I wondering which teacher actually makes that kind of $$ at Ballard. And what do the rest of the teachers do the other three months of the year, just go into a trance waiting for the next school year??

  • 38 picocailin // Mar 26, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    The mom got her facts wrong. I go to the teen health center all the time. There is NO way the staff would have ever told her to keep it from her mom. Never. It was the girl's choice. This girl should not be crucified because she didn't want her life ruined. All you people talking about this are assuming that she did something stupid and got herself pregnant. It could have easily been the boy in the situation; he could have poked holes in the condoms, or they could have broken and he could have not told her. The girl is smart enough to know that if she knew something went wrong she could have gone to the THC the next school day and they would have given her Plan B, free of charge.

    Don't announce that you would try to shut down an entire SCHOOL because of your bigotry. It's disgusting.

  • 39 zipper // Mar 26, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Plenty of woman have abortions and have zero regrets.

    Agreed the girl will need help. Help because her Mother is not a balanced woman. Taking her daughter's private decision and making a public spectacle of it is quite bad. Their relationship is in dire trouble.

  • 40 ballardbell // Mar 26, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Wow, I wish you were my Parent. Sounds like a really functional family where the kids feel safe to talk to their parents.

  • 41 PandaMouse // Mar 27, 2010 at 12:50 am

    I am both the mother of a high school girl and a recipient of abuse from my parents as a young person when I was in need of their help most. I unhesitatingly signed the clinic health form for my daughter at her high school and made sure she knows where my curiosity ends and her privacy begins, as well as her legal rights.

    When young people are in serious crisis, they deserve and should be able to expect their parents to set aside their own prejudices, societal, cultural, and religious views, no matter how dearly held, and stand ready to provide useful loving help to their child in whatever way is best for that child. When a child's health, happiness and future are at risk and at stake is when most parents find out what their true worth as human beings lies.

    This mother failed the test, with an egregious invasion of her daughter's privacy by contacting the media. No matter how furious she was, she should never have done it. Setting aside any other considerations (and there are plenty here), this act was in no way directed at her child's welfare and personal growth, and will resound down the years in it's cruelty.

    I hope all us parents will learn from this, and control our worse impulses during the inevitable crisis with our struggling young people as they are desperately trying to make sense of their lives.
    My thoughts go out to this young woman.

  • 42 Hmmf // Mar 27, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Um, more like $49K

  • 43 Hmmf // Mar 27, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    It's the- “I can serve my country but can't drink a beer?” arguement.

  • 44 Name // Apr 2, 2010 at 4:23 am

    i get it, and i also get how annoying parents can be.
    most of the time when you try to make us do things, or “force” us to do things, we just lie and continue doing whatever we want to.
    why? because its easy and you will never find out.
    thats what everyone does.

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