Rep. Schmidt Discusses Abortion With First Graders

October 27, 2010 1:38 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Rep. Jean Schmidt

Opponents of LGBT equality often hide their prejudice behind concern for children. For example, the Traditional Values Coalition has launched an entire online campaign devoted to the absurd idea that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) will hurt kids because they will be "forced to learn about bizarre sexual fetishes." In Oregon, a gay student-teacher was recently fired (and ultimately reinstated) after revealing his sexuality to a fourth grader.  

But all complicated moral issues aren't created equal when it comes to protecting children's sensibilities. Social conservatives only want to shield kids from subjects, like sexuality, with which they are uncomfortable. As WLWT Cincinnati reports, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) — who is known for her commitment to "pro-life" causes — brought up abortion at an elementary school assembly "in front of children as young as 6." In a letter apologizing to parents, school principal Dan Teller described what happened:

Unexpectedly, towards the end of her address, Congresswoman Schmidt brought up the topic of abortion, and I am writing you to make you aware of this. Your children may come home with questions, especially if this is a topic that has not been broached in your home. I do not recall the exact words she used, but she paused towards the end of her speech and stated that this would be the only time when she would be 'political' in her address. She defined abortion as the taking of a child's life in the mother's womb. She indicated that abortion involves the killing of a child before it is born.

"I apologize for any confusion or fear that this may elicit on the part of your child, and for the awkward position this may put you in of introducing a difficult issue at a time that may be premature for you," Teller wrote, adding that Schmidt "was not invited to further any political agenda." According to her office, Schmidt was attempting to give the children an example of "the connection of moral issues and legislation."

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