DEAR ABBY: My beautiful 17-year-old stepdaughter, "Amelia," recently became sexually active. She's in a "serious" relationship with the boy she had sex with. They have been together for six months, and from what she's told me, they both gave each other their virginity and protection was used. She has not disclosed this to her parents.
My husband and Amelia are very close, but she and her mom recently had a falling-out. Amelia pledged me to secrecy, and I immediately scheduled her to see an OB/GYN to get her on birth control.
My question is, should I tell my husband? I feel awful not telling him, but she has told me she doesn't want either of her parents to know. I'm grateful she comes to me for things like this, but eventually, it's going to come out when my husband sees the explanation of benefits from the insurance.
Amelia's mom and I have a solid relationship, and my husband and her mom also have a good one. I don't want to keep secrets regarding their daughter, but I don't want to betray my stepdaughter either. Please help. -- STRUGGLING STEPMOM
DEAR STEPMOM: It isn't necessary to betray your stepdaughter's confidence to get her the help she needs. Go online to plannedparenthood.org, locate the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic and share that information with Amelia. The organization provides a wide range of low-cost services to women and men, including family planning, STD diagnosis and treatment, and birth control on a confidential basis. You should also encourage Amelia to discuss this with her parents. She is behaving responsibly in wanting to protect herself.