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Conference: Planned Parenthood
The following transcript was recorded on

Friday, 21st November, 1997

with Toni Guy of Planned Parenthood GoldenGate


©1997-2017 Electric Eggplant




Log file opened at: 11/20/97 7:29:26 PM

LilyCCC: ***************************************

LilyCCC: Welcome the TheInSite!

LilyCCC: Our Topic: "Parental Consent for Abortion"

LilyCCC: Our Guest: Toni Guy, Planned Parenthood GoldenGate.

LilyCCC: Welcome Toni!!

LilyCCC: ****************************************

LilyCCC: Hey there! We are talking about parental consent for

LilyCCC: abortion with our guest, Toni Guy!

LilyCCC: If you have a question or comment for Toni

LilyCCC: please type in a ? and we will add you to the question

LilyCCC: list. We will get to everyone in order so please be

LilyCCC: patient! Again! Welcome!

LilyCCC: *****************************************

LilyCCC: Toni..what would you like to say to open?

ToniGuy: First I'd like to say in many states there are laws that compulsorily require a teen girl who wants an abortion to get her parent's consent or go before a judge. We at Planned Parenthood think this is a dangerous law for teen girls, and we'd like to know what you folks think.

ToniGuy: Any thoughts about that?

NerioTIS: Wow Toni...

CBONILLA: serious stuff

LilyCCC: Toni...why does planned parenthood find those laws dangerous?

ToniGuy: Lily, because we have seen that where those laws are enforced teen girls wait later, because they try to get to a neighboring state, or they try to cause an abortion themselves! Both of which are more dangerous to the girl's health! And also there's no responsibility placed on the father of the child . It puts all the burden on the teenage girl. That seems very unfair to us.

ToniGuy: Next question?

just: Ok. First of all, how do you feel about abortions in general?

NerioTIS: Toni .. have any states made it mandatory for parental consent yet?

ToniGuy: Just... in general I wish that no one had to have an abortion, but they still need to be available, and I think it is a choice.

ToniGuy: Next question.

NerioTIS: Toni.. have any states made parental consent mandatory?

just: Isn't it actually safer for the teen to get the abortion than to carry out a trimester pregnancy?? (Toni)

ToniGuy: Nerio... I think there are 14 states currently- Utah is one and so is Montana- in which it is mandatory for a teen girl to get parent's consent, or a judicial bypass- a judge's consent.

Rhiannon: Yes Nerio I live in one...parental consent and 24 hour wait in PA

LilyCCC: Montana...my homeland. Just... it is 11 times safer to have the abortion than to carry out a trimester pregnancy.

NerioTIS: Wow Toni...

just: Toni... can I quote you on that? I have a paper due Just... absolutely... quote me...

MarsSaxman: Toni, that's an amazing statistic - how do they figure that? And who is it who did the figuring? :-)

ToniGuy: you can add that an abortion is twice as safe as getting a penicillin shot!

ToniGuy: We are talking first trimester, legal abortion.

just: REALLY, Toni??

NerioTIS: _wow_ Toni...

TISPhreak is *shocked*

ToniGuy: Mars... they look in terms of all medical procedures.. and the number of resulting deaths.

Rhiannon: In my local paper tonight a letter to the editor claimed that a new abortion clinic merely gave a patient a shot and some pills, no information and sent her home... I was wondering if this could possibly be true Rhiannon... there may be a misunderstanding...

just: oh my gosh-that would be scary for her!

ToniGuy: if someone is having...

Rhiannon: The girl I guess had cramping and had the abortion in a toilet

ToniGuy: an early second trimester abortion Rhiannon.. then she actually miscarried . There isn't a "shot". It may be that her visit to the doctor..

ToniGuy: had nothing to do with her miscarriage. There are a lot of possibilities here.

Rhiannon: This doctor alleges that the girl paid $400 and was given a shot and some pills and no instruction

LilyCCC: Toni...I need to point out at this time...simply as a midwife that pregnancy and birth in this era...with prenatal care is also extremely safe.....don't want to scare anyone.....

ToniGuy: Lily... I absolutely do NOT want to scare anyone, and since birth is now so safe, that's how safe it makes first trimester legal abortion.

just: why don't you want to scare anybody? Facts are facts. scary or not.

LilyCCC: just....facts must have balance. Just.. well I never like to "load" facts with fear. I'd rather just give information, and let people make decisions without the fear.

NerioTIS: Toni... I was wondering... how do states justify judical overruling...

LilyCCC: Thanks Toni!

just: Like what are you referring to Toni?

NerioTIS: It seems to me that there is a very narrow window of opportunity... and that taking it to the courts actually could make things more difficult on a teen

ToniGuy: Nerio... exactly right! The purpose of this law is to stop teens from exercising their free choice, not to safeguard their health. Think about that.

just: Toni, are you a doctor?

ToniGuy: Just... no, I'm a sexuality educator with Planned Parenthood.

just: Through a school I'm guessing?

just: Do y'all have any information I could get, toni?

ToniGuy: Just... yes through a school, and through life and through the everyday experience with the young people I work with.

Rhiannon: To play devil's advocate for a moment..a minor cannot get his/her ears pierced w/out parental permission. How do you justify a medical procedure without permission? Couldn't the doctor that performed the abortion be sued?

ToniGuy: Rhiannon.. yes the doctor can be sued if it's malpractice, and a teen can have a baby without her parents permission and if it's by Cesarean Section, that's a medical procedure!

LilyCCC: Toni, I once was pro life. Now with age, I can call myself pro choice. ...

LilyCCC: However, partial birth abortions I cannot come to terms with. How often is there really a need for an abortion that late?

ToniGuy: I would say pro choice IS pro life!

TISPhreak: LilyCCC, that's *some* shift in opinion, i'd say!

LilyCCC: Tis..I call myself an uncomfortable pro-choice person....LOL....

mimi1: i'm pro for the tropic

ToniGuy: But I know what you mean Lily... Not very often at all. The last statistic I heard was maybe 100 in the whole country in a year, but who are we to make that decision for another family in crisis? And my understanding is the fetus is always non-viable or dead before the procedure.

ToniGuy: Next question?

MarsSaxman: You just said "pro choice is pro life". Would you clarify that please? As I understand it, they are very distinct points of view.

ToniGuy: Mars, they are actually just semantical terms. The so called "pro-life" movement claimed that name to try to paint pro-choice supporters as "anti-life", but I firmly believe that allowing a woman to make a free choice is being respectful of HER life.

mimi1: Not all teen really know what they want- how can they decide?

Petulanc1: Hear, hear, Toni.

ToniGuy: Mimi, they need to sit down with someone and talk it through. But the decision needs to be theirs because the consequences, good or bad, are theirs.

mimi1: Can teen understand the different between love and babe??

ToniGuy: Mimi, some teens can, and some adults can't tell the difference between love and babies!

LilyCCC: Toni..what kind of counseling does Planned Parenthood provide for girls seeking abortions?

mimi1: In the first place, there should be unwanted pregnancy.

ToniGuy: Lily... we usually let the girl know about all three of her options. ...

ToniGuy: pre-natal care, and what it would actually take to raise her child,

ToniGuy: adoption... both open and closed...

ToniGuy: and termination.

ToniGuy: Mainly the counseling consists of asking the girl questions and listening to her answers. Most young women do know what they want, they are just afraid to say it.

ToniGuy: Pedro... I think that abortion is an important procedure to have as a back up to better contraception- birth control methods.

ToniGuy: Next question.

Petulanc1: What are the most frequent reasons a young woman decides to abort rather than to have the baby with intent to adopt? Do you ever try to encourage them to consider how many would like to adopt a baby?

Ross: Teenagers don't like to commit. We'd rather just get rid of the problem

NerioTIS: Hmm.. Ross.. I don't think that is always the case

ToniGuy: Pet... very often the most frequent reason to abort instead of putting the baby up for adoption is economic, but it can be just personal- some people just can't do that.

Ross: tis, more often than not thats what we do

ToniGuy: just like some can't terminate a pregnancy it's very personal.

Petulanc1: I hadn't considered economic. If someone had really pressed me when I was 19, I think I would have made a different decision.

ToniGuy: We feel to encourage a girl to consider how many would like to adopt a baby would be pressure. We do let the girl know that there are loving families and in fact, we keep a binder with descriptions and pictures of couples looking to adopt. We have people who send us information saying that they are looking to adopt a baby.

Petulanc1: Great idea, Toni!

ToniGuy: On a yearly basis we probably act as go between..

ToniGuy: to about 12 adoptions, though adoption is not a real popular choice with teens.

TISPhreak agrees Petulanc1 ;-)

PEDRO1: but my religion. In my religion is never kill unborn baby

NerioTIS: Why do you think that is, Toni?

ToniGuy: Older women in their late 20's or so choose it more often.

Petulanc1: It seemed impossible when I was 19. My parents..the physical aspect

ToniGuy: Nerio... because I think teens have babies for different reasons than older women. It's more about themselves, and wanting to have something or someone to love, or to be loved by, and to go through all of that (the pregnancy) and still not have some to love you- the teens think that's a waste of energy!

Rik: yep toni

ToniGuy: What have you always wondered about abortion?

TISPhreak: I was just wondering Toni, at PP how do you help someone make up their mind? do you bring up religion or morality ...economic situation? that must be tough

ToniGuy: TIS... it's very tough! Because we don't want to overlay our personal values on our clients, we have to ask very careful questions to help them come to their own decision based on whatever is important to them- religion, family, personal values, whatever.

TISPhreak: ah...I see, so you let *them* make the decision

Angelina: If someone raped your daughter, would you want her to keep the baby?

Petulanc1: There was an interesting editorial in NY today about the implications of the septuplets, and how the medical standard has changed for viability, how it's increased. Do we know anything about the age at which the sensory capabilities of the baby are developed?

ToniGuy: TIS.. absolutely! It is THEIR choice. Not ours.

Angelina: Okay, would you want your daughter to keep the baby if a total stranger raped her?

ToniGuy: Pet... we do know. I think the earliest we had a baby born 20-21 weeks. It takes huge amounts of medical resources to support that baby resources which are not always available to everyone.

Petulanc1: (Yes, Toni, they left that out of the editorial)

ToniGuy: LOL! Pet!

LilyCCC: Angelina..you question?

JB17: No one should kill an innocent child

Petulanc1: I know about viability, but what about sensory capacity? When does the baby "feel"?

Angelina: If your daughter was raped by a total stranger would you tell her to keep the baby?

ToniGuy: JB,That's a viewpoint, and we would support anyone who wanted to exercise that viewpoint, but innocent children die all over the world every day and no one seems to react very much. Do we need to add to that population of unwanted children?

ToniGuy: Angelina... when a woman is raped, control of her body is taken away from her. I would want my daughter to have that control, and I would support her in whatever choice she made. it is still HER body!

Angelina: What would you do?

ToniGuy: I would sit down and talk with her about what SHE wants to do, then fight like hell to make sure she is able to do it.

ToniGuy: Infinity... a fertilized egg is not a baby. my definition of a "baby" includes them being able to support their own life.

Angelina: Would you try to push for her aborting the baby, or having the baby put up for adoption?

ZOINKYS: I support abortion

ToniGuy: Angelina... no I would not push. I would just ask her what she wanted to do and what could I do to help her.

NerioTIS: Toni... what age group has the highest rate of abortions?

ToniGuy: Nerio... the highest rates of abortion are among 18-23 year olds.

ToniGuy: Next question?

LilyCCC: Toni....what argument do you get from parents about their wanting consent?

ToniGuy: Lily... I am a parent myself, and I understand their feelings about wanting to know. I certainly would too, but we can't teach our daughters to be responsible if we don't hold them accountable. if you choose to have sex you run the risk of unintended pregnancy.

ToniGuy: And they should have to make decisions. I'd rather have my daughter..

ToniGuy: get a legal abortion against my wishes, than scare her into an illegal abortion and have her die!

ToniGuy: Next question.

Rik: well said, toni

poe: if I get pregnant I get an abortion

NerioTIS: Toni ... do you know how drastically the death rate from illegal abortions dropped when abortions were legalized?

ToniGuy: Nerio... I don't know the exact statistics but I do know that maternal death from complications of illegal abortions went down DRASTICALLY in some areas. Where providers are few women still die from illegal procedures.

Rik: That's a shame

ToniGuy: Yes, Rik, it is!

Angelina: When you get a break, do you know what states are legalized?

Honeybees: So,I guess everyone in here is trying to play God with our children.You people mean to tell me it's ok for a woman or teen to go out and kill our children.I think it's time to turn to the one who died for our sins.You will one day have to answer to killing our babies.LEGAL or ILLEGAL!!!!!!!

Petulanc1: Toni, thanks for your straightforward answers. . . much appreciated.

ToniGuy: Angelina, abortion is legal in all 50 states- it's just not accessible in all states to everyone who wants one.

LilyCCC: Please help me in thanking Toni for her time and great information!

LilyCCC: Thanks Toni!!

NerioTIS: Thank you so much for being here, Toni! :-)

Petulanc1: Toni, you were great!! Thanks!

Rik: Thanks Toni!

Angelina: Thank you Toni- I didn't mean to insult you

LilyCCC: And thanks to all of you for your thoughtful questions!!

TISPhreak: Thanks Toni!

ToniGuy: Good conference, good questions! Next week is Turkey Day- no Planned Parenthood chat everyone have a great day..

LilyCCC: LOL Angelina...with my typing? I am real!

ToniGuy: enjoy your friends and family.

ToniGuy: Bye everyone... thanks again... see you in two weeks.

KeaCCC: We will begin our Conference shortly. Please stand by!

Log file closed at: 11/20/97 8:31:23 PM



Editorial Breakdown

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