I am essentially pro-choice- it is the law of the land, and I think it should stay the law of the land. I am however, personally opposed to abortion, and I would never support having one. I do not think that is a moral contradiction (and I refuse to debate the issue- so don’t even try to start with me in the comments)- I am willing to allow people to make the best decisions for themselves.
However, one thing that does frost me is the attitude of NARAL and other Abortion Rights Activists, who seem to think that there should be no restrictions on abortion whatsoever. Yesterday, the New Hampshire legislature passed a consent bill that requires the following:
Under the bill, at least one parent or legal guardian of a girl under 18 must be notified 48 hours before she has an abortion. They do not have veto power over her decision, however, and she may bypass the parental notification requirement by seeking a judge’s permission or a medical determination that her life in jeopardy.
“We ask children to get their parents’ permission to get their ears pierced, to take an aspirin at school,” Benson told the Associated Press after the vote. “I think this law finally puts all parental notification on the same footing.” Supporters applauded passage of the measure, saying it protects parental rights and could lead to fewer unwanted pregnancies and abortions.
Which led to the predictable apocalyptic rhetoric from the NARAL crowd:
Abortion rights supporters, however, argue it deprives young women of their right to privacy and compromises their freedom of choice. The opponents say the measure also could discourage young women from seeking other reproductive health services, such as contraception, and result in unsafe, illegal abortions.
“This is clearly a very troubling time for New Hampshire,” said Laura Thibault, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice America’s local affiliate. “We certainly hope it does not signify the beginning of a trend.”
What is so awful about parents knowing that their child is about to undertake a medical procedure? Why does this strike me as simply common sense to the point that not notifying parents seems almost criminal? There is nothing in this bill that is even an absolute- a judge can ignore the consent depending on the circumstances, and in no case can the parents veto the decision. Why is this such a bad law?
NARAL reacts that way for two reasons:
1) The organization is run by lunatics
2) They need to keep their supporters in a constant state of alarm to ensure continued funding.
NARAL and the NRA are both subject to the “slippery slope” argument. ANY infringement on the most expansive possibly argument is a step down the path to total banning.
I’m sure neither NARAL nor NRA members would appreciate that characterization, but I do think it holds true….
a child under 18 has to get parental permission to get a tattoo, a body piercing and any number of other cosmetic procedures.
Why is abortion any different?
Mike the Analyst
Forgive me (or ban me) but I can’t resist thinking of some politician, circa 1850, saying:
I am essentially pro-slavery- it is the law of the land, and I think it should stay the law of the land. I am however, personally opposed to slavery, and I would never support having them. I do not think that is a moral contradiction (and I refuse to debate the issue- so don’t even try to start with me )- I am willing to allow people of individual states in this Union to make the best decisions for themselves.
Mostly the difficulty with parental notification results in abuse to those under 18, which is well-documented, up to and including forced continuation of pregnancy by threat of severe harm or even death for the minor after delivery of the baby. These things still happen when parents are told.
Unless the judges are very wise in over-riding that requirement, there WILL be an increase in back-street abortions.
Y’know, if you “can’t understand” a liberal position, it’s really easy to go look up the arguments. (Many liberals seem to feel that most people will be persuaded by reasonable argument; irrational, I know.) NARAL has a position paper on the subject at . The arguments given seem reasonable, if you’re willing to grant the legitimacy of abortion at all. There’s a page of amazing and plausible statistics in the report; cites are given, so they can be checked.
If you want a heart-wrenching story, in 1988 a girl named Becky Bell found herself pregnant, sought medical help, who was afraid to have her parents notified attempted to self-induce an abortion. She died. An interview with her mother is given at . It is followed by remarks including the sobering comment: “The government, however, cannot mandate healthy family communication where it does not already exist.” Surely this is something conservatives and libertarians understand?
Oooops! Seem to have mangled those URLs. They are:
“Mostly the difficulty with parental notification results in abuse to those under 18, which is well-documented, up to and including forced continuation of pregnancy by threat of severe harm or even death for the minor after delivery of the baby. These things still happen when parents are told. ”
So why should parents that would threaten their children with death under any circumstances retain custody at all? A girl saddled with such parents isn’t helped all that much by being given a secret abortion and sent back to live with those parents.
It would make more sense for a judge given that sort of evidence to simply remove custody or even grant emancipation than to authorize a secret abortion.
Ken, that’s not the only issue. Please read the NARAL paper; you may not agree but at least you’ll know why the argument is made.
I have the same main point as Dean: the NRA is precisely the same, on “slippery slope” grounds. One can reasonably disagree with either, but one is compelled to either accept the logic and argument in both cases, or deny it in both cases.
(An interesting self-litmus test of one’s objectivity is if you feel that one example is obviously different and more dangerous than the other; it isn’t.)
it’s certainly not just on “slippery slope” grounds. parental consent is required for most medical procedures, but it is widely understood – and a CONSENSUS among the medical community – that when it comes to highly sensitive issues like drug treatment, contraception and abortion, and screening for STD’s, that confidential treatment for minors is absolutely essential. When minors know that seeking treatment means that their parents will be notified, many are likely to not seek treatment at all, and go without contraception and STD screening, or they may delay treatment significantly, increasing the risks to their health in the case of abortion. The traditional practice of confidential care for minors’ sensitive health issues is a practice that doctors support because it best protects the health and well-being of young people.