So Who/What is “Maria Talks” and Why are Pro-Lifers Outraged?

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. The following is based on alerts sent out by National Right to Life’s state affiliate, Massachusetts Citizens for Life. It offers details about a state-funded website “Maria Talks,” which features a fictional, computer-generated teen, “Maria.”  Thanks to MCFL president Anne Fox, who explained that the site is inaccurate and deliberately misleading, and that “It literally coaches minor girls on how to obtain abortions without their parents knowing.”  In fact “Maria” counsels that “getting an abortion is much easier than it sounds.” I’ll add a few quotes from the site at the end.

Linda Thayer is a hero!  She is responsible for informing the public about Maria Talks.  Linda discovered the web site and discussed it at the MCFL Youth Conference on April 9th.  One of the students said there was a poster for it in the nurse’s office at his school. 

Linda was devastated!  This school year she has spoken to 10,000 students – her busiest year ever.  She will finish the year in North Adams next Sunday.  She works so hard to guide students to make proper decisions and here is this web site telling minor girls how to get abortions without their parents’ knowing and claiming abortions are very common and easy. 

[When they looked into the site, they discovered it was funded to the tune of $100,000 annually and took that information to the Boston Herald which wrote about it.]

Obviously, the site must be shut down, defunded, and an investigation must be mounted to find out what other state funds are going to these kinds of projects.  Last Thursday MCFL sent a letter to [Gov. Deval Patrick], outlining these requests. Please read the letter.  …

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Here are some of the highlights, so to speak.

1.      “An abortion is when the contents of the womb (uterus) are removed, so that the uterus goes back to how it was before a woman got pregnant.”

2.      Abortion is “more common than you might think.”

3.      Safe? “Yes. My Aunt Lucia says that abortions are safe and effective, though some people may experience temporary discomfort.”

4.      Can girls under 18 get an abortion? “If you are under 18 and have decided that abortion is right for you, you can call the Planned Parenthood Counseling and Referral Hotline at 1-800-258-4448 (option 3).  They can either help you talk to your parents, or if you decide that you can’t or don’t want to do that, they will provide you with a free lawyer who will help you go to court and talk to a judge.  These hearings are scheduled quickly, are kept completely confidential and so far, no minor who’s gone through this process has ever been denied access to an abortion by a judge (emphasis added).”

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