According to the Boston Herald, a state-funded sex education website tells teenagers that an abortion is “much easier than it sounds.” The website, mariatalks.com, is glossing over the ugly truths of abortion and even counseling them on how to keep their parents in the dark about it.
“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 told the Boston Herald. “This is a misuse of state funds, especially for parents who are taxpayers.”
The website is produced by the AIDS Action Committee using annual grants from the Department of Public Health totaling $100,000. The “Maria” on the website is a fictional teen girl who addresses teens in a breezy tone, and according to the head of the AIDS Action Committee, safeguards “the general, sexual health of youth by informing them of their risk for unintended pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.”
On the “hot topic” of abortion, Maria says that it is “more common that you might think” and “safe and effective, though some people may experience temporary discomfort.” Even Planned Parenthood has a long list of potential health risks, while Maria says only it’s better to get an abortion earlier rather than later.
And what does Maria have to say about adoption? That it “can be pretty tough for some people, especially emotionally.” And how about parental involvement in the decision on abortion? “It may be really hard for you to imagine talking to either your parents or a judge about getting abortion, but there are people who can help you through it.” In other words, head to Planned Parenthood and they can advise you on going to a judge and not your parents, something Maria says “can really be done and young women do this all the time here in Massachusetts.”
Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood didn’t have a comment when the Boston Herald reached out, but NARAL Pro-Choice America Executive Director Andrea Miller said Maria Talks is “terrific” and a “really complete and medically accurate set of information.”
We applaud the Boston Herald for printing this important front page story, and we call on Governor Patrick and the Department of Public Health to fully investigate this website. Why are we spending taxpayer money in the time of severe budget restraints on a program that undermines parents’ rights and endangers their children?