Sounds like a good idea at first, requiring parental consent for underage abortions. But laws are for everyone, not just people with decent folks for parents. The decent folk parent types have already raised up their children to confide in them and trust them to help when something scary happens. This law wouldn’t do anything to help those families.
But what about the twisted scary families? The non-families? The kind of circumstances where the girl is a victim of rape, incest, ignorance, poverty – or lack of basic sex ed, or in denial about “abstinence” so she doesn’t have or know how to use protection? Lots and lots of cases like this.
Molly Ivins culled some examples from the files of Jane’s Due Process, a Texas organization that provides lawyers for pregnant minors seeking a bypass. You want to push this law? I want to see you sit down and explain what a good idea it is to these girls.
• Social worker for a 13-year-old: “She ran away from her foster home and was gone for eight weeks. Now she’s in an emergency shelter and is pregnant. Her mother is deceased. Her father raped her when she was 8 years old and is still in prison for it. I knew her when she had to testify against him. I don’t know if I can convince her to go back to court, but she definitely wants an abortion.”
• Boyfriend of a 15-year-old: “She can’t report anything to the police about what her stepfather does to the family. He works for the department. And this is a very small town. The family seems to live in fear of him.”
• Pregnant 16-year-old: “My older sister got pregnant when she was 17. My mother pushed her against the wall, slapped her across the face and then grabbed her by the hair, pulled her through the living room, out the front door and threw her off the porch. We don’t know where she is now.”
• Older sister: “My little sister was raped. Our parents are somewhere in Mexico, but I don’t know if I can find them.”
• Grandmother of a 15-year-old: “She just told us that she was raped. We had no idea that she was pregnant. Her mother is dead, and her father is being transferred to [another prison]. Is there any way we can get this done?”
• Seventeen-year-old: “I called my older sister to see if she knew where my mother was. She hasn’t heard from her in over six months. I’ve never known my father. So I went to the courthouse to file my application [for judicial bypass], and the judge came out of his office and told me that he would give me a hearing but that he didn’t believe in abortion and that he would never give me the OK to have one. And he knows me. He knows my family. He already knows I’m raising a 5-month-old.”
• Seventeen-year-old high school graduate, mother of a 2-year-old daughter, father deceased: “My mother’s boyfriend used to hit her and sometimes I would try to stop him, but then he’d start hitting me. I left home to live with my boyfriend when I found out I was pregnant the first time. My mother wouldn’t let me have an abortion, so I knew a baby would be safer living away from her and her boyfriend. But my boyfriend started hitting me as soon as I moved in. So I got my own place, a car and two jobs. I’m pregnant again, but I can’t tell my mom because she would stop me from getting an abortion.”
Molly decided not to get into the the incest cases, but she did note that “it is much more common than any of us would like to believe and not limited to any economic class.”
Check any old episode of Jerry Springer, look around at the grocery store, talk to some high school kinds in your town. And wake up to reality. This isn’t how we are going to the reduce the need for abortions, this isn’t how we’re going to fix our deepening economic and educational problems, this isn’t how we become true Americans.
You folks – I don’t believe that all of you are as hateful as the policies you back would suggest. I don’t believe all of you are as stupid and naive and ignorant as you seem. You have to wake up out of dreamland and face the reality that the world isn’t a Rockwell painting. We have real problems and you would do better at solving them if you would pay attention rather than lull yourself to sleep in the ever-more transparent lies and propaganda of those who I will no longer even honor by the title of Republican.
Wake up, you barely sentient grubs! Time to awaken, time to grow, time to fly! Unless you make several hundred thousand dollars a year, and the vast majority of us don’t, you’re only screwing yourself, and not in a pleasurable way (grin). These kinds of bills are just to get you on board if you’re anti-abortion. They are the payoff so you’ll vote along with the other stuff. But even on these issues, you’re not thinking clearly.
There will be many false prophets. Stay awake.