Teen Gets Abortion With Help of Her Seattle High School

Mother is furious that her 15-year-old got an abortion without her permission.

March 24, 2010, 11:44 AM

March 24, 2010 — -- A Seattle mother is irate after she said her 15-year-old daughter's school arranged an abortion for her daughter without her knowledge.

The mother, whose name has been withheld at her request to protect her privacy, told ABC News' Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV that the clinic gave her daughter a pass and helped her get a taxi that took her to a facility where she underwent an abortion.

The mother did not immediately return messages left by ABCNews.com. It was not immediately clear how far along in the pregnancy the teen was at the time of the abortion.

The mother said that she had signed a consent form that permitted her daughter to go to the teen health center on the campus of Ballard High School for what she believed were ailments like earaches, or for routine physicals, but not for an abortion.

"She took a pregnancy test at school at the teen health center," the mother told KOMO. "Nowhere in the paperwork does it mention abortion or facilitating abortion."

The form also allowed her daughter to receive birth control from the school's health clinic, the mother said.

But even so, the mother is furious that her daughter, who is on the school's honor roll, was given an abortion without the school notifying her parents.

"We had no idea this was being facilitated on campus," said the mother. "They just told her that if she concealed it from her family, that it would be free of charge and no financial responsibility."

A spokeswoman for the Seattle School District, which includes Ballard High School, declined to comment and referred all questions to the King County Health Department, the administrator of school-based health programs.

Angry as the mother is that she was not informed about her daughter's quest and receipt of an abortion, the health clinic at the school did not break any laws.

Under Washington state law, parental consent is not required when providing health care to minors, even when that care includes abortion.

"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," the law states.

Minors who are older than 13 can also receive testing for sexually transmitted diseases, both inpatient and outpatient mental health care, and prenatal care without having parental consent, under the law.

T.J. Cosgrove, a representative of the King County Health Department, 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," said Cosgrove.

A representative of the Swedish Medical Center, which runs the clinic at Ballard High, referred ABCNews.com to the King County Health Department but did confirm that Swedish runs the clinic where the abortion was said to be arranged.

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.

On a MySpace page that appears to belong to the mother, a status message apparently referring to KOMO-TV's coverage of her daughters abortion, reads, "komonews.com front page story! I'm shouting a top my soapbox of justice and human/parental rights!" ABC News could not independently confirm who wrote the post.

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