Listen to the Call:
840 MAUS AVE
YPSILANTI, MI 48198-5813
TAPE – 068
RECORDING: Thank you for calling Planned Parenthood. For the medical clinic, including appointments, press 1.
Please hold, while I transfer your call to the Appointment Center.
CLINIC: Planned Parenthood. Can I help you?
CALLER: Yeah. I was wondering if you guys do abortions there?
CLINIC: Yes, we do.
CALLER: Well, how much does it cost?
CLINIC: Up to 12-and-a-half weeks, they cost $300.
CLINIC: And after that, the charge goes up by $100. We do them through 14-and-a-half weeks.
CLINIC: Have you had a positive pregnancy test?
CALLER: Well, I took one over the weekend, and it said it was positive.
CLINIC: Okay. Do you know when the first day of your last normal period was?
CALLER: Not really. Well, it was before Christmas. I guess it was like probably the first week in December.
CLINIC: Okay. But you think you did have one in December?
CLINIC: Okay. That would put you right now at about 10 weeks.
CLINIC: So, basically, at the $300 price you would have up until pretty much the last day of this month.
CLINIC: It would be a surgical procedure. And what would happen is — this is for you I’m assuming, right?
CLINIC: Okay. That you would come into the clinic on the day of the surgery, and we do a pre-counseling session with everybody. And then they would so some lab work, and then the procedure, which itself is very quick. It only takes about five to seven minutes. And the doctor would dilate your cervix, and then use a small vacuum to remove the contents of the uterus. And then afterwards, you’d go to the recovery room for about a half an hour to 45 minutes where we monitor your blood pressure and make sure that everything’s okay.
CLINIC: And we send you home with some antibiotics and some instructions for after care. And then we’d have you come back in two weeks afterwards to make sure that everything is okay.
CALLER: Okay. Well, I was actually told — my friend told me that you guys have to tell my parents before I can have an abortion. Is that true?
CLINIC: How old are you?
CALLER: I’m going to be 14 in March.
CLINIC: Yes. We definitely need your parents’ consent. We have — do you think that would be possible?
CALLER: No. I can’t tell my parents at all. They can’t know. My boyfriend’s 22, and we’re planning to get married. But they can’t find out because they hate him, because they think he’s too old. But if they find out that we were having sex at all, they’d get mad.
CLINIC: Right. Okay. In these kinds of situations, we also have something called the “judicial bypass,” which is where you come to the clinic, and one of the counselors will take you before a judge and a courtroom here. And the judge basically gives a legal bypass that replaces your parents’ signature, so they wouldn’t have to know about it.
CLINIC: And that usually happens on the same day of the procedure.
CALLER: Well, is there any way that the judge would say no for any reason?
CLINIC: It hasn’t happened in Washtenaw County here. It does happen. It really does depend on the judge.
CLINIC: In other counties, they’re not so favorable, but here they tend to be very good.
CLINIC: So what I would probably have you do is — let me just see when we could schedule you for the appointment.
CALLER: Okay. Like, to go to the judge, do I have to pay a lawyer or anything?
CLINIC: No, no, no. There’s no charge. You just — you would go with one of our staff members here. One of our counselors would take you.
CALLER: And he wouldn’t tell my parents either?
CLINIC: No. It’s totally confidential.
CALLER: All right. Okay. So like no one —
CLINIC: No one at all would know, outside of you and the people who perform the procedure here at the clinic.
CALLER: Okay. So a lawyer doesn’t have to tell anybody?
CLINIC: There is no lawyer.
CALLER: There’s no lawyer?
CLINIC: It’s just you in front of a judge.
CALLER: Does the judge have to tell anybody?
CALLER: All right.
CLINIC: No. It’s totally confidential. That’s why it’s — it’s a legal way of doing it without your parents’ consent.
CALLER: Okay. Say, like, I wasn’t pregnant — like maybe that pregnancy test I did, I guess I did it right. Like, say I wasn’t pregnant, would there be any way to get birth control from you guys?
CLINIC: Oh yeah, absolutely.
CALLER: And you guys wouldn’t have to tell my parents about that either?
CLINIC: No, no, no. For that you don’t need anything. You don’t. I mean, it doesn’t matter how old you are. It’s totally confidential.
CALLER: Okay. And you wouldn’t have to tell anyone about my boyfriend or anything?
CLINIC: Nothing at all. We tell nobody about anything. We’re very careful about that.
CLINIC: Absolutely. That’s one of our biggest priorities. So you wouldn’t have to worry about that.
CLINIC: I’m going to have you talk with a woman named Tarb (ph) who is our counselor. She’s the one that would be taking you in front of the judge.
CLINIC: Okay. Can you hang on for me for a second?
CLINIC: I haven’t forgotten about you.
CLINIC: Tarb just left, but we’re trying to figure out when to schedule you.
CALLER: What was your name?
CLINIC: Her name is Tarb, T-a-r-b.
CALLER: Well, what was your name?
CLINIC: My name is Sarah.
CALLER: Oh, okay.
CLINIC: Oh, she’s here. Just hold on one second.
CALLER: Oh, okay.
CLINIC: Hold on just one second.
CLINIC: We’re just figure this stuff out.
CALLER: Oh, okay.
CLINIC: I was just talking to her. She has to run out the door. But she will talk to you in the next couple of days.
CLINIC: Let me tell you how things are looking right now. The judge is not here this week.
CALLER: Oh, okay.
CLINIC: We’re talking about next Friday is going to be the appointment.
CLINIC: Okay. I assume you go to school.
CALLER: Well, I’m home-schooled.
CLINIC: Okay. All right. Well, is that going to be a problem with your mom?
CLINIC: Because you’re going to need to be gone — you’re going to need to come in here on Thursday morning for your pre-counseling.
CLINIC: And you’re going to need to be here Friday most of the day.
CLINIC: Do you have a pencil with you?
CLINIC: Actually, you know what, let me make these appointments in the computer, and then I’ll tell you as I’m doing it.
CLINIC: We’re looking at the 22nd.
CALLER: And you’re sure you don’t have to tell my mom or anything?
CLINIC: I’m positive about that.
CLINIC: What Tarb said is that, in front of the judge — you know, it’s up to the judge to decide about the judicial bypass. She said it has happened in history that he has said no, but generally not. Basically, he decides whether you’re mature enough to make this decision for yourself.
CALLER: Oh, okay. So nobody will know ever?
CLINIC: Never, never. We’re having to sort of fit you in, so it’s a little complicated.
CALLER: Oh. Actually, I was worried about anyone — is any going to find out about my boyfriend at all or anything?
CLINIC: No. No, not at all.
CLINIC: Nothing that we know gets told to anybody else.
CALLER: Oh, okay.
CLINIC: It’s almost as if you’re not telling it to anybody.
CLINIC: Okay? Because nothing is going to happen. What you probably will need is for him to bring you here.
CLINIC: You’re going to need somebody to bring you to the clinic.
CALLER: Yeah, he’d be the only one that could bring me.
CLINIC: But we consider that none of our business.
CLINIC: I’m going to have to ask you to wait for one more second because I’m not seeing what I looked for, but I’ll get right back with you.
CLINIC: You know what? Before we go any further, can you give me your name?
CALLER: My name is Christine Smith.
CLINIC: That’s C-h-r-i-s?
CLINIC: Okay. Christine Smith. And is there a phone number where we can reach you, either your cell phone or your boyfriend’s?
CALLER: No, not that I know of.
CLINIC: We need to have some way to get in touch with you, because if the judge isn’t there, Tarb is going to need to talk to you.
CALLER: Oh. Is it cool if I call you back?
CLINIC: Um —
CALLER: Like tomorrow?
CLINIC: You can do that, but Tarb is going to need a phone number. It doesn’t have to be —
CALLER: Can I give you the number tomorrow?
CLINIC: Yeah, you can give it tomorrow. I’m going to put a note in her box tonight with your name, and I’ll tell her that you’ll call tomorrow with a phone number.
CLINIC: It doesn’t have to be yours; it can be anybody’s.
CLINIC: And we can even use a code name. We just need some way to get in touch with you, okay?
CALLER: Do you think my boyfriend’s too old or anything?
CLINIC: You know what, that’s not really up for me to say.
CALLER: Oh, all right.
CLINIC: Because I don’t know you, and I don’t know him. I would just —
CALLER: So 22 is not old or anything? Like my parents think that it’s too old, and I just don’t understand why.
CLINIC: I think the most important thing is how he treats you.
CALLER: Yeah. Well, we’re in love. We’re going to get married.
CLINIC: Right. Yeah. I mean, you know, give it some time. I think at your age, that many years between you is a big difference. But, you know, as you get older you can see how it works out. And the most important thing is that he treats you well.
CALLER: Yeah, he’s a sweetheart.
CLINIC: But that’s what we would care about.
CLINIC: But otherwise, that’s a decision that you make in your private life.
CLINIC: And I think Tarb may ask you about that, and may sort of ask you how you came to make the decision. And you can ask her questions too.
CALLER: Okay. Would I have to tell a judge about him or anything?
CLINIC: I don’t think so. I don’t think that matters.
CLINIC: I don’t think it’s part of the thing, really.
CALLER: The thing?
CLINIC: The decision.
CALLER: Oh, okay.
CLINIC: I don’t think it’s part of that.
Let me ask you. We’re talking about Thursday the 21st. And this is for your pre-counseling appointment.
CLINIC: Can you come in in the afternoon?
CLINIC: Okay. Can you come in at — let’s see. Can you come in at 5:00?
CALLER: Yes. It is all right if I call you tomorrow?
CLINIC: Yeah, but — yes, it is. But I need to do just a couple more things before I let you go, okay? Do you have to go right now?
CALLER: Yeah. My friend’s mom is about to be here.
CLINIC: She’s about to be here.
CLINIC: Okay. When you call back tomorrow, tell whoever it is that you still need to schedule your actual procedure.
CLINIC: All right. Bye bye.
CALLER: Thanks. Bye.