Saturday, November 05, 2005

If she can't come to me, I just want to keep her safe

If passed, Proposition 73 would amend the California constitution by adding an additional section to Article 1. It would require that a physician provider (or his or her representative) notify, with some exceptions, one parent or legal guardian of a pregnant unemancipated minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on that minor. It would also add to the California Constitution language to the effect that abortions "cause the death of the unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born."

It seems to me that there are a couple of issues.
  • Is it reasonable for parents to want to be involved in their children's lives? Of course. Can government-mandated notification solve the problem of dysfunctional families? Clearly the answer is "No."

    So what will this constitutional amendment do? Apparently the idea is that in some cases it will allow parents to forcibly prevent their teen-age daughters from getting abortions. It's not clear why people believe that this will work. But that seems to be the hope.

    It amazes me that people how tend to think of the government as a negative force in the world—taxes are bad; government programs are bad; etc.—believe that government can solve the problem of faulty family communication by passing a law. But then a lot of people can't seem to think very clearly about certain issues.

  • Is this really a stealth attempt to enshrine in the constitution the notion that abortion is murder? Clearly it is. This is not just an initiative. It is a constitutional amendment. Furthermore, it does not just mandate parental notification, it puts into the constitution wording to the effect that abortion terminates the life of "an unborn child." I am not entirely unsympathetic with the notion that a fetus may at some stage deserve to be treated as a human being. But that is a much more complicated issue than asking people to make that decision as a by-product of an unsound constitutional amendment.
For more information on No-on-73, see Campaign for Teen Safety.

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