Saturday, December 03, 2005

Parental Rights

Hi, this is Chelsea! I am filling in for Caleb while he feverishly studies for his upcoming finals (December 6, 2005). Good luck, Caleb. I know you will do well on your finals. He'll return to you in time for the next post (December 10, 2005).


Who has the ultimate responsibility for the welfare of a minor? The minor? The judicial system? The medical providers? The parent? I can see all sorts of hands going up. Who assumes financial responsibility and long term care of a minor if a performed medical procedure has complications? Now watch our group point to the one primarily responsible for a minor- the parent.

So why is the US Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in the Ayotte v Planned Parenthood of New England? This case presented by the attorney general of New Hampshire will determine whether states can continue to require parent notification of an abortion performed on a minor. This disputed New Hampshire law was passed in 2003 by the legislature requires parent notification of an abortion if the daughter is under the age of 18 years. If a doctor determines the female minor’s life is at risk, an immediate abortion can be performed without parental consent. If a female minor is unable to get parental approve, she can request a judge to intervene and then obtain an abortion. Sounds like a reasonable but compromising law to me- I am pro-life and do not believe abortion is an option. Nonetheless, after this bill was passed in 2003 by the legislature, a federal judge struck it down. Any guess where this judge sits on the abortion issue?

Again my question is- who is responsible for the well being of a minor? Some may argue that if parents don’t allow their daughter to have an abortion, her welfare is threatened by carrying the pregnancy to full-term. There are fewer risks of carrying a pregnancy through full term with today’s technology than having an abortion. There are also options for the child of a young mother. A young single girl/woman has a lot of different issues to deal with once she finds she is pregnant. Having an abortion will only increase the problems the girl/woman is facing now. Post abortion syndrome is a real diagnosis that requires counseling and prayerful support in order to deal with the guilt. Why would any parent or adult counselor want to encourage a young girl/woman to follow a path with future problems? A minor in this situation needs her parent’s love and counsel- not a short-term fix of an abortion.

The New Hampshire law in question is not about abortion rights. The law clearly permits abortions. What is in jeopardy is the parent’s right to know if their daughter plans to have an abortion. Let us hope (and pray) the US Supreme Court will see the critical issue at stake here. The federal government was never designed to be the parent. Let parents be parents!

By the way, it was after these oral arguments that Charmaine Yost of the Family Research Council pushed Kim Grady, NOW president, away from the microphone. I guess Ms. Grady feels only her opinions should be heard. So kudos to Mrs. Yost. Now if we could only get the US Republican senators to push the Democrats away from the microphone. Hasta la vista, amigos.


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