Thursday, November 03, 2005

Prop 73

LA Times reports Prop 73, requiring parental notice of abortion, is likely to pass. "Nearly six in 10 men back Proposition 73, but women are split almost evenly." A lack of empathy, perhaps?

I tend to have a poor memory of my days as a "unemancipated minor," but I do recall that my maturity and intelligence was significantly underestimated in comparison to those age 18 and above. Unfortunately, as I get older, the cranky old man inside me exclaiming, "Damn kids these days!" has greater influence.

Perhaps a 17 year old needs guidance and help when facing an unwanted pregnancy, but so would a 18 year old or a 25 year old. I hope everyone facing what they might consider a difficult decision has thoughtful and caring people available to consult. I hope families have such good relationships that a teenager would feel comfortable talking with their parents. However, a teenager's parents are not always the best option. The fact a teenager has to deal with their parents may be the most stressful part of obtaining an abortion. Forcing a teen -- threatened with violence or coercion to keep the fetus -- to go through the court system to by-pass this requirement is simply cruel.

This law constitutes deterrence through bureaucracy. Where are the Republicans who are against red-tape? Protecting the environment? needless red-tape. Restrictions on medical care for women? Finally, a use for the courts.

The law (like most propositions) will become part of the State Constitution. This makes it difficult to change. And the proposition includes language that calls a developing embryo or fetus an "unborn child." This is one step to chip away at State and Federal Constitutional protection of women to have control over their bodies. I can imaging a future Chief Justice Roberts opinion citing the fact that "x number of States define abortion as 'causing the death of an unborn child.' See, Sec. 32(a)(1), Prop 73." in a holding overturning Roe and Casey.

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