Michigan school board member: Teachers should be allowed to refer students for secret abortions

While debating the role schools play in their students’ abortions, a Michigan school board member said teachers should be able to refer students for abortions.

The Caledonia School Board is debating a current policy which restricts teachers from discussing abortion with students or referring them for one. The school board is considering either eliminating the policy altogether or updating it. During the meeting, Jason Saidoo said teachers should be able to make the decision for themselves if a student should be referred for an abortion.

“I think option one, rescinding the policy, it takes the politics out of it, and leaves the interests of the students into the hands of our teachers that can make the best decision for them,” he said in a video shared by Libs of TikTok.

Another person, identified by ABC13 as John Brando, replied, “I love our teachers, but this is a parent thing, man. That’s not the option for teachers.” The conversation has since gone viral, and in a lengthy Facebook post, Saidoo responded to the controversy:

I agree that this should be a parent conversation. I said so during the same discussion quoted in the memes. My concern is that my fellow board member who is promoting the policy cannot define “assistance” when directly asked during the meeting.

Would providing information, without opinion, on all pregnancy options constitute assistance? Would answering questions about the dangers of abortion constitute assistance? My concern is for the students who may not have the space at home for these conversations. Maybe a single parent who is absent. Parents who are incapacitated in some manner. A child given custody to a relative they barely know. Or even the student who may come to the counselor with “I need help talking to my parents.”

I believe that listening to the entire conversation would have made clear that the “decision” in the oft quoted line was a decision to listen and help the student or say “that’s a conversation to be had with your parents.” Make the best choice for the student between those two options. Keeping the policy in place leaves only the latter choice.

There must be a balance between parents’ rights and allowing kids in need to get help.

It sounds eloquent and reasonable, but the problem is, abortion is the only medical procedure in which an educator would be excused for bypassing parents and making the arrangements for a minor on their own.

Furthermore, this debate isn’t taking place in a vacuum; the Michigan abortion industry is currently working to eliminate the state’s parental consent law.

“The organizations who published this advocacy piece and their political allies believe they know what is best for children, not parents,” Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Genevieve Marnon told the Detroit Free Press earlier this year. “They are actively seeking to remove parents from one of the most important decisions a minor girl could face, one that everyone acknowledges will have a lifelong impact regardless of the decision.”

For now, the issue remains unresolved; the board voted to table discussion until a later date.

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