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Social Issues: Letters

From: Ross Olson [ross{at}]
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2011 9:54 AM
To: Editor Star Tribune (opinion{at}
Subject: Planned Parenthood

A writer praises Planned Parenthood (“What’s at stake in proposed cuts to planned Parenthood”
2/24/2011) and cites one good result. But of course, even a stopped clock may be right twice a day –
once if it is digital.) For an organization whose very name is a deception – it plans mostly the
destruction of parenthood – the overall pattern of deviousness is all too clear.

I will answer not with the damning data but with another anecdote which is typical, this from the lips of
a young woman who did not even understand that was done to her. In testimony before a committee
of the Minnesota State Senate regarding confidentiality for teens, she stated that when she was 16,
she went to Planned Parenthood in Duluth for birth control. She was grateful that they did not tell her
mother and that she was carefully checked for diseases every 6 months. And it nearly broke my heart
when she said, “And when I became positive for HIV, they were very compassionate. Then they told
my mother and they got me on treatment. I am so glad they caught it early because now I am on

Think, all you who are capable! Where do 16 year old girls get HIV? It had to be older guys. Were her
caregivers concerned about anything besides the mechanics of their trade? It is possible that if her
mother was involved, the same self destructive behaviors may have still emerged but at least there is
a hope. Fear of disclosure is one of the guides that keeps us on the safe track. And regardless, those
confident professionals will be long gone when mother is left to pick up the pieces of her daughter’s
broken life. Facilitating the chosen lifestyle of an adolescent is not caring, it is ethical malpractice!

Ross S. Olson MD

Send comments to me at ross{at}

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