A group of teens visiting Washington's state capital to lobby for Planned Parenthood faced a line of questioning that caught them off guard a Republican lawmaker grilled them on their sex life. The teens were advocating for bills that expand insurance coverage for birth control when Rep. Mary Dye, according to the Seattle Times, asked whether they were virgins. She also suggested one of them was not a virgin.
"After she made the statement about virginity, all of my teens looked at me," Rachel Todd, an education specialist for Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho who accompanied the teens on visit to Olympia, Washington, told theSeattle Times. "And I said, 'You don't have to answer that. You don't have to answer that.'"
Rep. Dye then shared with the teens her views on sex and making smart choices.
The teens, all of whom are students at a high school in eastern Washington State, were visiting the capital on Monday as part of Planned Parenthood's annual Teen Lobbying day.
Dye later apologized, according to the Seattle Times, saying in prepared remarks that she appreciated the students "time and professionalism," but didn't support the issues for which they were advocating.
"Following a conversation they initiated on birth control for teenagers, I talked about the empowerment of women and making good choices—opinions shaped by my mother and being a mother of three daughters," she wrote. "In hindsight, a few of the thoughts I shared, while well-intended, may have come across as more motherly than what they would expect from their state representative.
"If anything I said offended them or made them feel uncomfortable, I apologize."
Planned Parenthood's Rachel Todd said Monday's experience was a first for her. "I've never been in any type of meeting, especially with teens, where an adult, especially an adult legislator, was so incredibly disrespectful and inappropriate," she said.
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