Flutterby™! : Prop 73

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Prop 73

2005-11-04 19:46:34.128487+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

One of the disadvantages of voting with an absentee ballot is that when the campaigns kick into high gear there's... well... I suppose it really doesn't work, 'cause I rarely find that late stage advertising changes my mind on anything. It's kind of like some of the issues with corporate ethics I'm running across, there are a few companies that I'm up to not buying any of their products several of hundreds of times.

Tom got a robo-call regarding California Proposition 73, a constitutional amendment that would impose a parental notification rule on abortions for minors. In the comments to that entry, one poster says:

If my kid is going to be having a surgical procedure and the state wants to maintain my legal responsibilty for her health, support, and well being they had better tell me about the procedure.

So I have an idea: How about a constitutional amendment that allows for teenagers with parents who are so wrapped up in their own egos to replace those parents with foster parents who might actually give a fuck about their children's well-being? And while we're at it, if those parents want to insist on a risky pregnancy, how about laying the economic burden of the resulting child back on the original parents?

Maybe this is just backlash against some of the outright evil I've seen in the name of "parents rights", but it seems like at some point we have to start pushing back with a little bit of a demand for parental responsibility, at least in the case of the most egregious defenders. Those offering up "parents rights" excuses for this amendment seem prime candidates.

[ related topics: Children and growing up Health Ethics Law Civil Liberties California Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-05 00:27:22.262647+00 by: Larry Burton [edit history]

So I have an idea: How about a constitutional amendment that allows for teenagers with parents who are so wrapped up in their own egos to replace those parents with foster parents who might actually give a fuck about their children's well-being?

How are you going to determine whether or not the parent in question is acting out of ego or acting out of their own genuine concern for their child? Yeah, I know, I have two boys and one of them is an adult and the other is close to it so this doesn't affect me so I should butt out. I understand that there are unresponsible parents out there that won't do a thing to control their children until something like this comes along and then they are all about controlling the child. I don't have an answer for what to do in these cases other than let the juvenile courts intervene. Still, parents need to be notified.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-05 01:03:58.886762+00 by: Dori [edit history]

Tangential to what you said: our guess is that someone's got a search bot going that's looking for blogs that mention the ballot propositions. When it gets a hit, someone comes by and drops a comment in support of the measure.

The two people who objected to Tom's blog post were people we'd never heard of before or since.

I'll be interested to see if you get the same pattern of visitors.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-05 02:11:27.333679+00 by: Dan Lyke

Dori, I had the same thought [grin].

Larry, I don't know what the criteria are. I would say that a young adult feeling unable to discus the pros and cons of an abortion with a parent qualifies. But that opinion is subject to change; the ideas of childhood rights are difficult ones.

(And I'm working right now on something I can't talk about here that maybe I'll be able to spill a little more of in a few months, but there's a lot about parental responsibility and legal versus moral definitions of adult and all sorts of such things, so I'm a little tetchy on the topic... And it's happening with real people. sigh.)

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-05 18:12:01.457438+00 by: Larry Burton [edit history]

I would say that a young adult feeling unable to discus the pros and cons of an abortion with a parent qualifies.

Do you consider a young adult a thirteen year old, a fifteen year old or a seventeen year old? There is a big difference in each ages intellectual and emotional maturity. I've had talks with several young men (13, 15 and 17) over the years who had very open parents that still felt uncomfortable talking to their parents about sex. I've known several young women of the same age who I suspect would have had the same problems in discussing an abortion with their parents. In every case that I'm speaking about above the parents, while maybe not perfect, were very caring and responsible parents.

The thing is that each child is unique and have their own unique personalities that are formed by both hereidity and environment and much of the environment a child is exposed to is completely out of the control of the parent unless that parent keeps the child locked in a closet and home schooled. Two young women with the exact same parents can and will react completely different when faced with something like an unwanted pregnancy. You can't say that only girls with dysfunctional parents will attempt to get an abortion without the parents consent.

Now Prop 73 may be bad law and it may need to be voted down but I could not oppose the idea of requiring a doctor to notify the parents or guardians of any minor child seeking a surgical procedure... any surgical procedure. On a case by case basis it can then be determined if the child needs to be placed in the care of the courts to see that the child receives whatever care that child needs but the parents or guardians should always be notified.

And it's happening with real people.

Yeah, idealogy butting into reality can be a real bear at times. So can sorting out right and wrong from legal and illegal.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-05 23:28:28.903458+00 by: Dan Lyke

On the definition of a "young adult": Yes, 12-18 or thereabouts.

Yeah, there are all sorts of issues that the parents cannot control. However, and I'm admittedly being really hard on many parents and many of our deeply held cultural beliefs here, my experience with such things tells me that if we ask for parental notification in the vast majority of cases this will only end up making things worse.

Yes, there may be a few parents who are so blind to what's happening with their children that notification of an abortion may wake them up and cause them to start communicationg, but I believe that those are far overshadowed by the "parents" (and I use that term in the biological sense only) who will then do (or continue to do) the wrong things.

If you wanted to make a law (not a constitutional amendment) that mandated a short facility-site questioning followed by parental notification if some strict criteria were met, those criteria including not hearing phrases, even if used metaphorically, like "my parents are going to kill me", I might be able to accept it.

On the other hand, my experience with other people's children, including some whose parents are constantly willing to bring up diagnoses of various formal behavior disorders, has been that it doesn't take all that much to see what they're really up to. As my mom has often told me: "I hope that you kids manage to hide from me all the things I thought I hid from my mother". The potential for misuse of such a law is huge, and the application is mostly for kids who rightly see that their parents don't have their best interests at heart.

On "right and wrong" versus "legal and illegal", I've come to conclude that the best way to start analyzing that situation is assuming that the correlation is negative.