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#595 – Mount Baker Planned Parenthood in Bellingham, WA

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BELLINGHAM, WA 98225-4025

TAPE – 595

(dialing sounds) (ringing 1X)

RECORDING: Welcome to Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood. Please choose from the following four menu options. For directions to the Bellingham Clinic, for Bellingham Clinic hours, press 1 now. For test results of tests performed only at the Bellingham clinic, press 2 now. To make or change an appointment at any of our clinics or to speak with a staffperson press 3 now. (dial sound) Please hold on while I try that extension.

CLINIC: Planned Parenthood. Can I help you?

CALLER: Hi. Yeah. I was calling to see if you guys do abortions there?

CLINIC: We don’t actually do them here at this clinic. We do pretermination services. So if you wanted to have an abortion, we could do the pre-exam for you. But they’re done over at our (unclear) clinic, now Baker Family Medicine.

CALLER: Oh, okay. Well, so I would come there for like a pregnancy test?

CLINIC: A pregnancy test, but there’s a full exam that happens before you have an ab — a termination of pregnancy. Pelvic exam to see how far along you are, a couple of STD screenings, and then there’s just a lot of information as well.

CALLER: Oh. Well, do you know, it’s just, the thing is, I’m going to be 14 next month, and my friend told me that you guys would have to tell my parents I was getting an abortion. But my boyfriend’s 22. Could he just sign whatever it is and they wouldn’t have to tell anybody?

CLINIC: It doesn’t matter that you’re only 13. You can do this under your own steam in Washington if you’re only 13.

CALLER: Oh, really?

CLINIC: Yeah. Yeah, so he doesn’t have to sign anything for you. You’re welcome to bring him with you of course, but. But, no, he doesn’t — because he’s not legally responsible for you because he’s not your parent. But you can be legally responsible for yourself for this healthcare situation.


CLINIC: (unclear) encourage you to talk to your parents about it if you feel that you can, if you feel that you can —

CALLER: Well, no.

CLINIC: Okay. But yeah, you’re welcome to come and see us by yourself if you want to or with your boyfriend or with a friend, whoever.

CALLER: Okay. Well, it’s just, the reason, the main reason why I’m wondering about all this is because like I haven’t had my period since like December 26, and I’m just really scared.

CLINIC: Have you taken a pregnancy test yet?


CLINIC: Have you had regular periods up to then?

CALLER: Usually, yeah.

CLINIC: When did you start having your period? How old were you when you started having your period?

CALLER: Well, I was 12.

CLINIC: So the first thing to do would be to take a pregnancy test, and I can actually tell you a place where we do that for free, and you don’t have to have an appointment.

CALLER: Really? Where?

CLINIC: Do you know where the DSHS office is, Department of Social and Health Services?

CALLER: Well, I live in Ferndale. I’m not real sure where that is.

CLINIC: Okay. Well, I can tell you that it’s — let’s see. Well, you’re not old enough to drive yet. So it’s in Bellingham it’s in the same shopping complex where Christ the King Church and Cost Cutter are.

CALLER: Oh, okay. I know where that is.

CLINIC: Does that sound familiar?


CLINIC: In that same complex there’s a kind of a light brown brick building, and that’s the Department of Social and Health Services, DSHS, and we have a nurse practitioner there every weekday between 8:30 and 4:30.

CALLER: What’s her name?

CLINIC: Her name is Sylvia.

CALLER: Oh, okay.

CLINIC: And she’s just there — it’s easy to find her. You just walk in the door and you can see her. I think she’s off to the right.

CALLER: Okay. But would she have to tell anybody about anything?

CLINIC: Nope. This is completely confidential. She’s not obligated to tell anyone about what’s going on, and you’re not obligated to tell anyone about what’s going on. There’s no judges or courts or parental notification, nothing like that in Washington.

CALLER: Oh, okay.

CLINIC: Yeah. In Washington you’re completely free to take care of you reproductive health needs as soon as you’re 13.

CALLER: Okay. Well, so my boyfriend can just drive me there and they would be able to do the pregnancy test and you wouldn’t —

CLINIC: Uh-huh. They could do the pregnancy test, and they could — and she can talk to you about, you know, if you’re pregnant, the various options that you have, and if you’re not pregnant why this might be going on and maybe to help you get started on a birth control method of some kind if you’d like to do that.


CLINIC: And she’ll have lots of information for you, and she’ll have information for your boyfriend too if you want to bring him along.

CALLER: So I could get birth control there and they wouldn’t have to tell anybody that I was on birth control?

CLINIC: Yep. Nope. We don’t have to tell anybody. She can only do a couple of months. You’d need to come back here to get an exam to get more months of birth control, but she’s a good place to get started because it’s quick and you don’t have to wait for an appointment.

CALLER: OH. It’s just, I don’t drive. Would he be able to pick up the pills after everything like to come there and pick up the other pills?

CLINIC: Uh-huh.

CALLER: Really?

CLINIC: Yeah, because you can put him on your list of people that are approved to pick up pills.

CALLER: Oh, okay.

CLINIC: And he could pick them up for you.

CALLER: All right. Well, I just have so many questions. I mean, I can’t think of them all right now. But if I thought of one, could I call and talk to you? What was your name?

CLINIC: Yeah. My name is Becky.


CLINIC: Yeah. You’re very welcome to talk to me.

CALLER: All right.

CLINIC: And you know what you could even do? I could give you Sylvia’s phone number right now.


CLINIC: Because she’s the nurse practitioner, and she has a lot of information about birth control, a lot more than I do.


CLINIC: So let me see. Her phone number is 714-4051. So you can talk to me if you feel comfortable, but if I have questions that I can’t answer I’ll give you a medical staffperson and they can — they’re also very helpful.


CLINIC: They have lots of information too.

CALLER: But you’re just sure that no one has to know anything about this?

CLINIC: Yep. I’m absolutely sure. Quite a few very young women of ages 13 and 14 do come and see us, and we’re absolutely confidential. We — nobody is allowed legally to talk to someone after that age unless you’ve specified that it’s okay. It’s not like going to a pediatrician’s office. It’s different, because this is an adult concern.


CLINIC: So you’re treated as an adult in the state of Washington.

CALLER: All right.

CLINIC: All right?


CLINIC: I’ll talk to you later.

CALLER: Okay, thanks.

CLINIC: You’re welcome.



(phone clicks)

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