With the taxpayer-funded website MariaTalks.com staying in the headlines, legislators from both sides of the aisle spoke out yesterday, calling on Governor Patrick to take down the website and terminate all funding. The press conference, organized by Rep. Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) and Rep. Colleen Garry (D-Dracut), took place outside the House chamber and included more than a dozen legislators, with even more having signed the letter to Governor Patrick.
“This website uses inappropriate and crude language to describe sexual acts. This website describes abortion in an extremely insensitive manner, downplays the medical and psychological damages, and advises teenage girls how to circumvent parental notification requirements,” explained Rep. Lombardo.
Demonstrating that this is not a Republican or Democrat issue, Democrat Rep. Colleen Garry of Dracut also spoke out against the website, saying “that there is a much better way” to teach sex education to teenagers that involves parents. “This website does a disservice to our children,” Garry said.
Rep. Stephen DiNatale, a Democrat from Dracut, said that the website needs to be “taken down, retooled, and put back up,” noting that there is some good information on the website, and that it can be a positive resource for teenagers if the information is presented using age-appropriate and accurate language.
Concluding the press conference, North Attleboro Rep. Betty Poirier expressed embarrassment that this website was put up for our children using taxpayer funding. “We are not the parents of these children,” she said. “We are the governmental body that is entrusted with taxpayer dollars, which are meager and few these days…to have spent the hard-earned money of the people in this way is a shameful thing.”
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