Pin It
Favorite

Aborted Mission 

by KEVIN TAYLOR & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & "H & lt;/span & ow many unborn babies have you guys killed in the last year?" This is the question a Spokane legislator repeatedly asked a group of high school students visiting his Olympia office to lobby for family planning and increased funding for sex education.





"It was pretty appalling," says Elizabeth Wilhelm, a Ferris High School sophomore, of the meeting with Rep. John Ahern (R-Sixth District) on Jan. 21.





Wilhelm and about a dozen others, all members of the Teen Advisory Board for Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest, had traveled by bus for an annual Lobby Day trip. They made appointments to see legislators representing their own districts, Sixth, Third or Ninth.





"We knew John Ahern was a Republican, and we didn't expect he would support our cause," says Hannah Dean, a junior at Lewis and Clark High School. "We did expect him to listen and be respectful, which he was not."





Dean and others say Ahern at first refused to look at the group and directed his comments to their chaperone, who told Ahern it was the students doing the lobbying. Talk to them, she said.





Ahern asked several more times, the students say, "How many unborn babies have you guys killed in the last year?"





"I couldn't get a straight answer. That's why I asked not once but several times," Ahern recalls, adding he is sorry if he had hurt the students' feelings.





"I love to debate differences of opinion. That's what makes America great," says Ahern. "We have a basic difference of opinion. They are pro-abortion; I am pro-life."





"We were flabbergasted. We told him we didn't kill any babies. We tried to get back on topic, but he persisted," says David Beaumier, a junior at LC.





Abortions are only two percent of what Planned Parenthood does, the students say. By lobbying for education and prevention, "We said we are doing something that may potentially reduce abortion rates in Washington state. We said the things we lobby for in no way promote abortion," Beaumier adds.





Most students are not yet eligible to vote. "I'm only 15, but when I can vote my first vote will be for anyone running against John Ahern," Wilhelm says.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • A Win for Everyone
  • A Win for Everyone

    The water protectors at Standing Rock achieve an important victory
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • My Dinner with Fidel
  • My Dinner with Fidel

    Looking back nearly 20 years, when three Americans sat down with the Western Hemisphere's most notorious communist
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • 'No' to Sessions
  • 'No' to Sessions

    Trail Mix: Murray opposes AG pick Sessions, McMorris Rodgers' future
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Winter Glow Spectacular

Winter Glow Spectacular @ Spokane County Fair & Expo Center

Dec. 9-11, Dec. 15-23 and Dec. 26-30

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


Comment


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • America's Largest Hate Group
  • America's Largest Hate Group

    Republicans are lying to people so they can capitalize on fear and hatred
    • Dec 3, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation