Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dealing With Hard Truths and Bitter Reality

This is the last Proposition I'm going to discuss at least until I get a chance to study 80 some more.
Proposition 73 on the November ballot calls for parental notification at least 48 hours before termination of a minor's pregnancy. I hate this issue. I think it's a "dad" thing... maybe a "parent" thing... but I hate it.
The "argument" in favor of this proposition begins by saying that a daughter under 18 can't get an aspirin from the school nurse without a parent knowing, but she can have an abortion.
Okay, that's true... it's been true since 1953 in California that a pregnant minor may consent to medical care related to the prevention or treatment of pregnancy. Of course, there is an important second issue that is completely ignored in this proposition which is that if your thirteen year old daughter carries her pregnancy to term and becomes a mother, then she has to make the decisions for the child if she decides to keep the child and not give it up for adoption. Sooner or later the daughter will be making her own decisions for this pregnancy.
I know that it eats at many parents that "just say no" isn't the panacea that they'd hoped it would be, but it just isn't. Go figure!
I have a daughter... and I've been a quasi-dad to another teenaged girl... and I can tell you that, for all of my failings as a husband, by the time Prop. 73 would have become an issue my daughter and I would have had that talk. We did have that talk.
If your daughter has become pregnant before you have taught her your beliefs and values... If your daughter has become pregnant feeling that she could not share her life and her feelings with you... If your daughter has agonized until she got the gumption to go to Planned Parenthood or wherever... then what on earth are you, as parents, going to accomplish by making her wait two more days. Will you love her? Support her? Encourage her? I'm sorry, but I believe that if that was the case you would have already had that talk.
Governor Schwarzenegger is in favor of Prop. 73. Late last week Governor Schwarzenegger also vetoed two bills that would have supported and minimally expanded California's Healthy Families programs (SB 23 and AB 624).
Listen, California has had a "safe haven" law on the books for a few years now... leave a newborn at any healthcare facility or fire station within 72 hours with no questions asked... and this week they found yet another dead full-term baby boy with the umbilical cord still attached next to a dumpster near USC.
Teen pregnancy sucks... abortion sucks... but really what are the chances that these lame-ass parents wanting to get involved at the last minute are going to make things any better?
Let the girl be.


Blogger franky said...

Wow, very nicely put. As a parent, I can sympathize that it isn't the easiet thing in the world to contemplate if you have a daughter that is pregnant and I'm not sure where I stand on the isse. Good post

4:34 PM  

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