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August 24, 2006



I'm still a little iffy on how I feel about this, though my strong pro-life affliation urges me to vote yes on it. I wrote a somewhat related post on abortion while you were on vacation called, "In Response to Seventeen's Article, 'My Mom Made me have an abortion." It helped me sort out my thoughts, but ahhh! This subject is just so awful all around that it's hard to even think about it at all.


The important thing to note is that if children have a good relationship with their parents then they're liable to tell them anyway independent of this law and if they have abusive or controlling parents then notification will endanger the child(what do you do when the pregnancy is a result of incest in the first place).

Pratically speaking this law is not going to work and morally it is almost certainly going to harm someone.


Annamal: word. Wordy McWord even.

Last night, I watched FX's 30 days, where someone lives in a community that they are unfamiliar with for 30 days. This time, it was a pro-choice activist living in a pro-life maternity home.

The show's creator, Morgan Spurlock (of _Supersize Me_ fame,) interviewed the parents of Becky Bell, a 17-year-old Indiana girl who didn't feel that she could tell her parents she was pregnant and therefore couldn't get a legal abortion. (In 1988, Indiana had in place a parental notification law which requires girls under 18 to have the permission of a parent.) She couldn't get to another state which had looser regulations, and so she had an illegal abortion. The abortionist didn't use sterile equipment, and Becky died of infection.

Her parents are still mourning her in 2006. And in 1991, Karen Bell had this to say (taken from this Planned Parenthood article.:) "Two years ago I would have been totally for the parental consent law, but not now. ... Mothers and fathers have both come up and said, 'Well, we just know that our daughters would come to us, we know it.' And I said, 'And I knew Becky would come to me.' And look where she is."

And that's why I can't support parental notification laws. Because there are teens who can and do voluntariliy go to their parents. Because there will be teens who could go to their parents, but don't think that they could. And because there are teens who can't go to their parents (either because a relative is the one who got them pregnant, or because they have seen their parents kick other siblings out of the house, or for whatever other reason.) And the teens that can't tell their parents are the ones most in need of help.

I feel a whole lot more concern for the Becky Bells of the world than I do for the embryos of the world.

Q Grrl

Does anyone have any stats on how many teenage pregnancies happen between a teenage girl and a teenage boy, compared to how many happen with a teenage girl and an adult male? Or are a result of incest via father, brother, uncle, or grandfather?

Douglas, Friend of Osho

I think the makeup of teen pregnancies hardly matters vis-a-vis this absurd law. I only regret I moved out of Califonia recently and can't vote "no". I'm not one for letting experience trump conscience in politics, but having known no less than three teens in my life that suffered tremendously by telling parents of unwanted pregnancies---and one was a 19-year-old who was trying to be honest with her parents---I, for one, can't see what profit there is in erecting a de facto barrier to the exercise of the legally upheld right to a legal procedure.


I have had a hard time with the "it is the woman's choice" thing. I know it is her body, but I had a very good friend who got his girlfriend pregnant. They also toyed with the idea of marriage and keeping the baby, then talked about adoption. They opted for adoption. He told her the next week that he wanted to keep the baby, even if she did not (he was out of college and she was still in college and he felt he was prepared to take on the duties...he was so excited to be a dad). She agreed. Then, a week later again, she let him know she had gone ahead with the abortion. He was devastated. She said "it is my body, I do what I want". But the life inside is not "hers" alone. He played an important part in making it. I know it is rare, but what do you think about this?


Charlie, I addressed the issue of the male role in reproductive decision making in this post. I wrote this post when I was still struggling to stay on the pro-life side of the line; I've since -- reverently and prayerfully -- come back to the pro-choice camp. But what I wrote about male responsibility still stands. The man's moment to exercise choice is before ejaculation.


Charlie: in my view, it's as simple as this: he's asking her to be sick for nine months, very sick for part of it, and at the end of it have a somewhat risky operation. There's simply no way he should have the right to demand that of her.


Just stumbled on this blog and it's quite interesting. I have a question. Why is it that we are considering a law to inform parents about a minor's decision to have an abortion but not pressing for a law that requires a doctor to tell the parents about a minor's decision to have a baby?

Certainly pregnancy poses a far greater health risk than does abortion. The inconsistency makes me question whether Prop 85 is really about a parents right to know. And as "technocracygirl" pointed out this parental notification about abortion really just ushers in legislation that can do far more harm than good.

Thanks for letting me post

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