Philadelphia Official, Pro-Life Advocates Respond to Teen Forced Abortion Case
by Steven Ertelt
May 5, 2010
Philadelphia, PA (LifeNews.com) — News of a teenager who was taken to New Jersey from her foster mother and allegedly pressured by city health department officials to have an abortion is drawing outrage from pro-life advocates. Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services is the subject of controversy in the sordid tale.
As LifeNews.com has reported, a teenager in the Pennsylvania foster care program became pregnant.
When the state Department of Human Services (DHS) found out, they asked for a family court order approving the state to take her in for an abortion — despite the fact that her mother refused to consent.
By that time, the girl was 24-weeks pregnant and the abortion had to be done in New Jersey and the teen was taken there for the abortion. The foster care employee didn’t contact the girl’s foster mom, who panicked when she didn’t return from school that day.
When she walked through the door at 8:30 that night, her foster mom asked her "what happened?" The girl replied, "The baby is dead."
Deputy Mayor Donald Schwarz, who oversees DHS, told KYW News today that the agency does not coerce young women or teenagers to have abortions either in policy or practice.
"The agency does have a duty to assure that women under their care have the same rights as other young women, particularly regarding reproductive health," he said.
However, Schwarz would not talk with the radio station about the specific case, citing state privacy laws. He would only say the agency and its staff have been "working diligently" to protect the girl’s rights, safety and privacy.
Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, says he worries this Pennsylvania incident may become more commonplace under the government-run health care plan President Barack Obama signed that funds abortions.
"What can we expect from the new federal health care plan? Well, if this story from Pennsylvania is any indication, a multi-state pro-abortion campaign," he said.
"She was smuggled to New Jersey for the appointment–alone. Because the young mom didn’t have the proper paperwork, she had to return a second time for the abortion–this time with a state government worker, who ensured that the baby never came home," Perkins continued.
"As for conscience rights of those involved? Forget it. The girl’s original social worker was fired for refusing to participate in the abortion," he said. "And while the state insists it didn’t pay for the abortion (the city of Mayfair did), a state worker did accompany her and most likely paid for her transportation."
"Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. Of the 335 girls who became pregnant under DHS’s care, almost a third abort–and nearly half of those are done by a judge’s order," Perkins concluded.
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