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‘Undermining families’: New Hampshire teacher fired after taking student to get an abortion

by | Jun 18, 2024

By Cassy Fiano-Chesser

An investigation has found that a public school teacher in New Hampshire was fired after requesting sick leave, during which the teacher actually took a student to get an abortion.

Documents released by the New Hampshire Department of Education revealed that the teacher had been “counseling” the student — both names were redacted — for several weeks about an unexpected pregnancy. The situation was originally referenced by Education Commissioner Frank Edelbut in an April op-ed, where he referenced numerous concerns expressed by teachers and parents alike.

In the op-ed, he asked how the department should react “when, allegedly, an educator lies by calling in sick so they can take a student – without parental knowledge – to get an abortion. Should we turn a blind eye?”

Boston Globe reporter Steven Porter eyed the accusation with skepticism. “[Edelbut] alluded also to an eye-catching allegation about abortion, suggesting that an educator had been accused of calling in sick to take a student to terminate a pregnancy without the student’s parents knowing,” Porter said. “Was that accusation found to be true? He did not say.”

In May, documents were released confirming that the abortion scenario did, in fact, happen.

“[T]hey had been conversing with the student for 2.5 weeks regarding the medical appointment,” the investigation said. “[The teacher] told the student to determine how far along they were (and assisted them) so the student knew what options they’d have available.” Additionally, the teacher selected the facility for the student, and drove her there.

While the report does not specify whether or not the student was a minor, New Hampshire law states that parents must be notified 48 hours before a minor gets an abortion. Lawmakers have tried recently to enshrine abortion as a constitutional right in the state, but those attempts have repeatedly failed.

In a statement to the New Hampshire Journal, state legislators expressed shock that the secret abortion happened. Yet this scenario might not be as unusual as parents would hope; a Michigan school board member (in a state that is currently attempting to get rid of its parental consent law) recently suggested that teachers should be allowed to refer their students for abortions without their parents’ knowledge.

The board member stated that it was a good idea to “leave[] the interests of the students [in] the hands of our teachers that can make the best decision for them.”

New Hampshire State Rep. Erica Layon said in reaction to the news, “I am horrified to hear that a teacher in our New Hampshire schools felt the right way to help a pregnant student who felt unsupported in her pregnancy was to research abortion facilities and call out sick to take a student to an abortion rather than to help her speak with her parents and find support from her family.”

She added, “By taking the rightful place of that student’s parents, this teacher denied her family the opportunity to step up and support her. Undermining families should not be taken lightly, and assuming the worst of parents is a dangerous precedent.”

Editors note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Abortion