Seattle School Arranges Student’s Abortion

Written by Warren Mass on March 25 2010.

The woman’s daughter was given a pass, put in a taxi, and sent to have an abortion during school hours without her parents being notified, KOMO reported.

The mother told KOMO that she is speaking out so that other parents will become aware of the services that are provided at high school health clinics.

T.J. Cosgrove, a spokesman for the King County Health Department, which administers the school-based programs, says while parents are encouraged to be involved in their children's health care, informing them is not “mandatory.”

Cosgrove told KOMO that it's "always best if parents are involved in their children's health care, but they don't always have a say. At any age in the state of Washington, an individual can consent to a termination of pregnancy.”

Regrettably, Cosgrove is correct about the law, which reads: "Minors may receive an abortion and abortion-related services at any age without the consent of a parent, guardian or the father of the child.” (Emphasis added.)

“At any age,” therefore, could conceivably mean 12!

As shocking as this incident is, it is by no means unique. In all likelihood, scenarios such as this one are being played out in schools across America, even as we write.

In fact, this writer has been told by someone very close to him about a very similar situation that happened in the Dallas area many years ago. The daughter, who was remorseful and carried the burden of guilt for many years, finally confided in her mother about it. And even years later, the mother’s reaction was much the same as Jill, the mother in Seattle — outrage — but also mixed with extreme sadness.

It is the sort of story that makes the reader ask: How have we sunk so low that this can happen in America? And, unfortunately, there is not one easy answer, because multiple factors are responsible.

The most obvious one, the solution embraced by almost everyone in the pro-life movement, is that we must once again prohibit abortion. Fifty years ago, abortion was illegal in every state in America, but individual states had started making the heinous practice legal even before the infamous 1973 Roe v Wade decision, which ruled that during the first trimester, the state cannot restrict a woman's “right” to an abortion in any way. Along with its companion decision, Doe v Bolton, Roe recognized abortion as an unspecified “constitutional right” and overturned most state laws against abortion in the United States.

The fact that some states had eliminated most restrictions on abortion even before Roe v Wade, however, reveals that the problem is as much a moral one as a legal one. As many pro-lifers are inclined to say nowadays: We must change hearts before we can change laws.

This latest incident in Seattle is indicative of yet another problem, however, which may have facilitated an abortion in this case, but is even larger in its scope. That problem is part of our failed “public” education system. Cultural conservatives, many of whom have turned to either private schooling or home schooling, correctly label those schools supported by taxpayer dollars as “government schools.” While the government in question was once local and sensitive to parental influence, the prevalence of federal tax dollars channeled through our federal Department of Education to the states and below amounts to a federal takeover of education in this nation. Federal bureaucrats always control what they fund and that control includes the curriculum, teaching methods, and control over students’ lives implemented in our “public” schools. Parents who send their children to such schools are not only subjecting their offspring to brainwashing extolling the virtues of the federal welfare state — they are actually surrendering physical control of their children to the state.

It is this surrender of parental control that makes outrageous incidents such as the Seattle abortion case possible, and even common.

The episode of Jill’s daughter being sent for an abortion is the intersection of two federal intrusions into the authority of the previously sovereign states: First, federal usurpation of the states’ authority to punish a crime (abortion) and, second, federal control over the parents' authority to educate and discipline his own children until they reach legal majority. With these two forces meeting in our government schools, they form a “perfect storm” of totalitarianism.

Many people in the pro-life movement have proposed the passage of a national Right to Life Amendment as the answer to abortion. Such a “solution” would only further enhance the power of the federal government and further diminish states rights, but to understand why requires an understanding of the process that led from the federal government’s guaranteeing the right to vote to freed slaves — through a long train of evolving court decisions — to Roe v Wade. Prior to the adoption of the Reconstruction amendments following the Civil War, the federal government pretty much allowed the states to manage their own affairs, in accordance with the 10th Amendment that is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity. But the adoption of the 14th amendment, in particular, was the opening of a Pandora’s Box that would eventually destroy states’ rights.

While the intent of the 14th amendment seems innocent enough (“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”) a series of Supreme Court decisions morphed the amendment until it could be used as club to destroy states’ rights. As Gene Healy notes in his article posted at practice, the Fourteenth Amendment has often operated as a grant of legislative and executive power to judges. And that power has been used to violate the very rights it was meant to secure.

Healy continues:

In addition to the de facto grant of legislative and executive power to judges, the Fourteenth Amendment includes a de jure grant of power to Congress. Section Five of the amendment reads: "The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article." Roger Pilon argues that Congress should routinely invoke Section Five to strike down state violations of individual rights. In the Cato Handbook for the 105th Congress, he declares that Congress has "often failed in its responsibility under the Fourteenth Amendment to police the states. Here is an area where federal regulation has been, if anything, too restrained."

Pro-abortion advocates constantly harp about their “right” to abortion as defined by Roe v Wade. Where does that “right” come from, if it is not found in the Bill of Rights? The alleged right to abortion would not be possible if our federal courts had not constantly misinterpreted the 14th amendment over the years and used it as justification to tell the states which laws it should make and enforce.

Had there never been a 14th amendment, Roe v Wade would have been impossible. Those who want to undue the damage by adopting yet another amendment should  think twice about possible unintended effects down the road. A much better solution to Roe v Wade would be to support legislation like Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s H.R. 539, to Limit Federal Courts' Right to Rule on Abortion.

Parents who are outraged by incidents of governmental usurpation of their parental rights — such as this latest episode in Seattle — must begin by supporting their states’ efforts to take back their control of their own law-making from the federal government. They can encourage their local governments to refuse any grants of federal aid, which always leads to federal control. And, for good measure, they can stop surrendering their parental authority to government-controlled school districts and become personally responsible for their children's education and rearing, whether by use of private schools or by homeschooling.

The tragedy in Seattle is but the latest example of the joint ill-effect of the states surrendering authority to Washington, and of parents surrendering authority to a government education system.

Photo above: Bristol Palin poses for photographers on the red carpet during an event to promote National Teen Pregnancy Awareness Day Wednesday, May 6, 2009 in New York.: AP Images
Warren MassWarren Mass is editor of the Bulletin of The John Birch Society.


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