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April 27, 2005

Texas defies Pedophiles for Choice

From the Houston Chronicle:

Young women would need written permission from their parents to get an abortion, and the court process to bypass that consent would be much tougher under a bill passed by a House committee late Monday.

While current state law mandates that minors notify their parents of their intent to have an abortion, the bill, filed by Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, prohibits a doctor from performing the procedure unless a parent, managing conservator or court-appointed guardian approves.

"Substitute the word abortion for any other major medical procedure and no one would ever even consider letting their own child do this without their consent," King said Tuesday. "But we do that for abortion. Parents have been pushed out of the process."

The legislation, passed 6-3 in the State Affairs Committee, also protects young women from those who might force her into getting an abortion, including parents. Coercing or assaulting a minor would be a felony offense under the bill.

Why anyone would oppose this is beyond me (other than child abusers who prefer not to get caught). What I found interesting is that at the same time Texas is trying to enforce parental notification for abortions on minors a 13-year-old boy lies comatose in a New York hospital because the hospital refused to even examine him when he came in without his parents. His father is out of the country and by the time he returned with his mother the infection in his tooth had caused his brain to swell.

Why is it a serious procedure like abortion can be performed on 11-year-olds without their parents' consent, but a 13-year-old is left to die because doctors claim they can't even examine a minor without proper consent?

Posted by Danny Carlton at April 27, 2005 08:30 AM

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The problem is that there is no solution that solves any and all problems.

If there is abuse, parental consent allows a molesting father, stepfather or guardian to cover up his tracks by persuading the girl into abortion and giving the required consent. If no parental consent is required a third party can cover up his tracks, again by persuading the girl and that's it.

Even assuming that she does really want the abortion, the problem with both options should be crystal clear since seemingly noone cares how she got pregnant in the first place. If a minor is pregnant then that should raise warning flags pretty much instantly.
The reasonable option here is to find out who she had sex with and whether or not abuse was comitted and that shouldn't really even be limited to aborition.
If a pregnant 14 year old shows up for a pre-natal exam with or without parents, the same warning flags should go up as when she shows up for an abortion, there is really no substantial difference.

However, there is an obvious downside in cases where there really was no cause of abuse. Any investigation into how a minor got pregnant could potentially lead to charges of rape where no rape was comitted since she consented with the act because isn't legally capable of doing so which brings up a debate about the age of consent.
And in case you're ready to jump on me after the last paragraph, I'm not talking about a 14 year old with a 40 year old, that's disgusting regardless of whether I think she's capable of giving consent or not merely because of the huge age gap. But a 15 or 17 year old (depending on the state) girl with a 19 year old boyfriend clearly isn't the same.

And yes, even in the last case I think they should have shown some common sense and exercised restraint or used any form of contraception, but the obvious reality it doesn't happen nearly enough.

Parental consent or no parental consent is a mute and ridiculous issue as long as there are no safeguards in place to either expose or investigate the posibility of sexual exploitation.

Posted by: Vanessa at April 28, 2005 08:16 AM

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