Friday, July 07, 2006

Don't give me the "a" word

Supporters of a parental notification requirement for abortion turned in signatures to Salem yesterday.


Supporters of an initiative to require parents to be notified if their teenage daughter wants to have an abortion delivered over 115,000 signatures - 40,000 more than required and a day before the deadline - to the Secretary of State's office Thursday.

If the signatures are approved by the Secretary of State and the initiative is passed into law by voters in November, parents of girls between 15 and 17 would be notified through certified mail 48 hours before their daughter has an abortion.

I had an abortion when I was a teenager. It was absolutely the right thing for me to do and I don't regret my decision. I didn't inform my parents at the time--also the right decision. I didn't come from an abusive home. But the extra drama associated with my parents' disagreement wasn't what I wanted or needed.

The argument for this seems to be something along the lines of "our kids don't even take an aspirin at school without our permission--yet they can have an abortion without our knowledge". I've got news for those people. If your kids are having sex and you don't know about it--forcing them to inform you about a pending abortion isn't going to fix that chasm.

Forcing teenaged girls to tell their parents (the guy of course doesn't have to tell his parents a thing) puts many in an untenable position. There's a provision for girls from abusive homes to opt out via the court system--but that's going to cost money and time. Neither are luxuries that a lot of pregnant teenaged girls have.

When you put a desperate, pregnant teenager in a corner like that--risky behavior ensues. A girl who wants to have an abortion without her parents' knowledge will do it no matter what.

I know I would have.