Boston Charter School Tells Students Abortion Prevents Pregnancy

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What is an abortion?

The definition varies from source to source.

However, the definition featured in the Peer Health Exchange Boston student workbook used by City On A Hill Charter Public School in Roxbury is not similar to the commonly understood definitions of the word. It’s a part of the charter school’s ninth grade curriculum, according to a public records request obtained by NewBostonPost earlier this month.

In the glossary, here is what the workbook says for abortion:

“Abortion:  procedure performed by a doctor that prevents a pregnancy once the sperm has already joined with an egg.”

Popular dictionaries say that abortion doesn’t prevent a pregnancy. Instead, they say it ends one.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines abortion as “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.”

While defines abortion differently, it says that an abortion is “the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy.”

Google’s dictionary says that an abortion is “the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.”

And up until the passage of the ROE Act on December 29, 2020, here is how the Commonwealth of Massachusetts defined abortion in a state statute:

“Abortion, the knowing destruction of the life of an unborn child or the intentional expulsion or removal of an unborn child from the womb other than for the principal purpose of producing a live birth or removing a dead fetus.”

Now that the definition has been re-written by a pro-legal abortion supermajority in the state legislature, here is how the Commownealth defines abortion:

“Abortion’, any medical treatment intended to induce the termination of, or to terminate, a clinically diagnosable pregnancy except for the purpose of producing a live birth; provided, however, that ‘abortion’ shall not include providing care related to a miscarriage.”

Both Massachusetts Citizens for Life and the Massachusetts Family Institute agree that however one defines abortion, the Peer Health Exchange’s definition misses the mark. 

Massachusetts Citizens for Life executive director Patricia Stewart told NewBostonPost that the definition used in the curriculum misleads students on the true nature of abortion.

“Abortion does not prevent pregnancy,” Stewart wrote in an email message. “Abortion ends a pregnancy by using medications or instruments to remove and/or kill a human baby as it develops in a pregnant woman’s womb. Eager as they are to teach high school students about abortion, why do they mislead and refuse to tell them the truth?”

Massachusetts Family Institute communications director Mary Ellen Siegler said that a school giving children inaccurate information is why parents should opt their children out of these kinds of curriculums.

Siegler said by email:


One of the dangers of comprehensive sexuality education is how it uses language so deceptively and changes commonly understood definitions for various words or phrases. This is done to influence thoughts and beliefs and is harmful for still developing young children. Abortion is the intentional killing of a human baby developing in its mother’s womb. To describe abortion as a procedure that prevents a pregnancy plants false ideas in the minds of students and dehumanizes the developing baby. An abortion is only performed when a woman is already pregnant. But if in the mind of the student you can convince them that an abortion is simply a procedure to prevent an unwanted outcome, like an unplanned pregnancy, then that student will begin to rationalize and normalize the violent act of the intentional killing of a human life. Lessons like these are devoid of reason, the teaching of critical thinking, and objective truth. They are meant to indoctrinate and push radical social agendas. Parents should always opt their children out of these comprehensive sex ed lessons in school.


City on a Hill Charter Public School serves grades 9 through 12. It has 229 students this year, including 55 freshmen, according to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

City on a Hill Charter Public School principal Laura Edouard, Boston Public Schools superintendent Brenda Cassellius, and a spokesman for Peer Health Exchange could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday this week.


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