Friday, March 09, 2007

2 Republicans Oppose Parental Consent for Minor Abortions

Yesterday the Arizona House passed HB 2641 by a vote of 34-21 requiring minors to obtain parental consent before obtaining an abortion. Only 2 Republicans opposed it including one from CD8—Pete Hershberger from LD26. It would be interesting to place a list of intrusive medical procedures in front of these two Republicans to see which, if any, they would agree should require parental consent. Is the issue for them about parents having too much control over their children, or is it simply that abortions should be available anytime, under any circumstances, and to anyone, regardless of age or maturity?

Pete Hershberger, term limited after this term, will likely run for the LD26 state senate seat in a primarily conservative district. Social conservative Al Melvin has already thrown his hat in the ring for the job. It will be interesting to watch how issues like this play out in the election.

22 comments:

sirocco said...

Hmmm ... what happens if the parent is notified, and then says the minor can't have the surgery?

sirocco said...

The point being no one should be _forced_ to carry a child to term against their wishes ... not even a minor.

Anonymous said...

The abotion issue aside, did anyone hear the rumor that Steve Huffman might be cinsudering running for the State Senate in LD 26 as well?

Framer said...

Sirocco,

The parent needs to be in on the loop no matter what. If the parent is not in the decision making process, who is? The school nurse, perhaps Planned Parenthood, or maybe even the parents of the child's father? Why should they get to contribute to the decision and not the minor's parents?

It would seem that for anything this large and life altering, the parent HAS to be notified. Even abortion supporters should realize this. The state has no right to preclude the parents under any constitutional basis.

If the parents outright forbid abortion, but the teen wishes to go that route, then this needs to be handled separately. It cannot be automatically assumed in every case that the parent will be an unreasonable obstruction, so it should not be treated that way.

I would bet that most of America feels this way, and Hershberger SHOULD tae flack for his stand.

And please, oh please, let there be a Heshberger, Huffman, Melvin primary! I can think of nothing more guaranteed to keep this blog busy than this happening.

sirocco said...

Framer,

I think we are in agreement regarding notification ... I am not opposed to parental notification when a minor is involved. I agree, parents need to be informed about any form of surgery.

Like I said, my question was specifically what happens if the parent tries to prevent the abortion. ... It's a tricky issue, but ultimately I don't think parental _consent_ should be required, just notification.

Anonymous said...

Here it comes....the return of Huff Daddy.

sato4gop said...

sirocco


I cannot believe you. God save us from people like you. I can't even begin to tell you in how many ways you are wrong and it sickens me to hear you support abortion on demand. You can call it anything you want but that is what you are supporting.

"Forced to carry a child against their wishes" Who is supposed to decide death for the innocent?

Abortion is not the answer to any unwanted pregnancy. Do you not know or do you not care about the pyschological ramifications of abortion in young girls?

sirocco said...

Sato,

People who use slogans to mischaracterize views, make me sick. Congratulation! You qualify!

True "abortion on demand" would mean allowing abortions for any reason ("hey, I have a party next week, and I don't want to look fat for it") at any time (like, the day before the baby is due). I don't support that, nor does anyone I know.

I suspect we differntiate on what constitutes an "infant". A small collection of cells may be innocent, but it's also not yet an infant.

I do care about those psychological ramifications ... they do occur (sometimes) in the long term, and anyone making such a choice needs to be presented with the possibility. Is it better or worse than what such a person might go through trying to raise a child while perhaps not ready to do so? The person best informed to make that decision is, well, the person most involved.

Besides, I could play that game too -- "don't you care about the lives of all those poor, unwanted children, and the suffering and pverty they go through?" ... of course you do, any rational person does ... it's part of what makes this whole debate so painful for everyone.

Framer said...

Sirocco,

I try not to use straw men, so I will try not to mischaracterize anyone's view.

I believe that in a case of a minor, every deference should be given to the parent. Obviously there are some cases where a parent is just plain not up to snuff, but those cases are rare on the whole.

Notification cannot just mean "after the fact." A parent should be notified well before if a child wants to have an abortion, and yes, in the case of an extremely young teen, I believe the wish of the parent SHOULD be given greater deference than any other party in the matter.

I am aware of the slippery slope argument and the issue of a Jehovah's Witness family refusing a transfusion for a dying child for instance. An abortion is not that. It is entirely elective in almost all cases. When it is not, I believe the government may have a part in the discussion with a teen minor.

The "a child nobody loves" argument is just foolish as I know several families that have been blessed by getting the chance to adopt, and several more who would give anything for that chance.

Consequently, reforming adoption law would be the angle I would take if I were looking to reduce abortion on a statewide basis. It is the one area that a lot of good could be done with relatively little political battling.

sirocco said...

Framer,

"Notification cannot just mean "after the fact." A parent should be notified well before if a child wants to have an abortion, and yes, in the case of an extremely young teen, I believe the wish of the parent SHOULD be given greater deference than any other party in the matter."

I fully agree with the 1st half of this sentence, and disagree with the second.

I have no problem whatsoever with the parents being notified ahead of time. I agree they should have the opportunity to discuss the matter, all the arguments involved, etc.

However, if in the end the girl still desires an abortion AND means are made available to do it (i.e., you can't force the parents to pay for it against their wishes), then ultimately it should be the girl's decision. She is the one who will have to live with the choice for the rest of her life, she needs to be the one making it.

As for the "a child nobody loves argument" being foolish, I will point out I was making a straw-man argument to make a point to Sato, not because I felt it was a strong argument in and of itself. I, too, know people who have happily adopted.

Having said that, it wasn't so much adoption, per se I was referring to (although there remain many thousands of children who have NOT been adopted), but the extremely high correspondence between children raised by young, unwed mothers and those children being raised in extremely poverty-stricken circumstances.

Framer said...

Sirocco,

This is probably a point where we cannot be resolved on, but I do not think that a 13-16 year old girl really has the faculties to make a clear decision on the abortion matter. Her decision will absolutely be based on the input of others. I just want to make sure that the parents have the largest opportunity to provide that input, rather than say a secret trip to an advising session with Planned Parenthood.

As far as the thousands go unadopted, this is a fault with our system of laws concerning adoption. When it is easier to adopt a Russian or Chinese child than to find and adopt a local child there is a sever problem.

And speaking of Russia, this is where I get my strong dislike for the Government preempting the family. I spent quite a bit of time working in a Russian orphanage, and have seen where the state primacy path leads as far as the family is concerned. Its a complex relationship to be sure, and one that I am not likely to entirely cover here, but it has definitely colored my views on this issue.

Framer said...

sorry, "SEVERE" problem, I know of know sever problems to speak of :)

Bruce P. Murchison said...

As with most bloggers on this site, I am Pro-life. Abortion has always been an extremely emotional issue. It is also a very sad issue. And it will continue to be for some time. I believe, along with the President, that we should encourage a culture of life. I believe that every person is a valuable human being, regardless of stage of development. I wouldn't be a teacher if I felt differently. While I disagree with those who believe abortion is a right, I believe in listening to all points of view and working to achieve legislation that will allow those who disagree on this subject to find common ground. I do not believe however, that you can sacrifice principle for compromise. I would recommend working on legislation that will help women who are faced with this difficult decision. Focusing on helping single parents, as well as relaxing the adoption laws would be a decent start. The following link is a good resource: http://www.feministsforlife.org/ .

Maricopa Isn't Evil said...

FYI - There is a judicial bypass on the bill where the minor can get permission from the courts without getting it from her parents. This is to protect victims of abuse, incest, etc. who could be in danger or who would simply be too terrifed to tell their parents. A girl telling her mom that she is carrying her dad's baby, for instance.

The judicial bypass is to be used in rare circumstances.

By the way, who was the other Republican who voted no?

sato4gop said...

Bruce I agree with you. Thanks


And to clear up a few misconceptions.

Most of the women who choose abortion are in the 20-40 year old range. Due largely to having sex outside their marriage or trying to get a guy to marry them. When they realize they are "in trouble" they opt for abortion instead of facing the problem they created.

As others have said, the problem isn't that there aren't enough people willing to adopt, it is the beauracracy and cost that prohibits it. Fix that and more will be adopted.

Lastly, it isn't a small percentage that have psychological problems after abortion. It is over 99%. I have dealt with hundreds of women in my professional career and everyone I ever met has needed counseling, antidepressants or other medications to deal with the abortion they "chose." They all said they wouldn't do it again and wish they never had.

sirocco said...

Sato said: "Lastly, it isn't a small percentage that have psychological problems after abortion. It is over 99%. "

Provide a citation for this figure, please. No study I have ever seen (and I have seen far more than a few) has _ever_ cited a number anywhere close to this figure.



Regarding adoption, the issue may be a bureaucratic one, but I suspect it's far more than that. A little poking found these stats.

The synopsis is, in 2005 there were about 120k children in the US awaiting adoption. Of those waiting adoption, their mean waiting time was 3.25 year, median 2.5 years.

Meanwhile, during the year a little over 51k children were adopted.

Meaning there is slightly more than a two-year backlog of children awaiting adoption. That's not just bureaucracy.

Meanwhile, this site estimated that Jan. - Oct. 2005 there were about 1.3 _million_ abortions performed in the US. Multiply that by 1.2 (to prorate for the Nov.-Dec. persiod) gives a figure of 1.56 million abortions.

Let's be generous and assume if abortions were outlawed only 10% of those children would be put up for adoption (I expect the figure would be closer to 25%). Thats 156000 more children awaiting adoption, another three years of backlog.

I'm sorry, but the figures simply don't bear out the notion there are enough families looking to adopt to absorb those numbers.

Framer said...

Sirocco,

On your "backlog" does that take into account infant adoption vs. foster child type adoption? I would suspect that the infant adoption rate is much higher than what you cite. Given the right programs, I would believe it approaches 100% That is where it is at with the program that I have worked with.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the topic of abortion is strictly a woman's issue. Men are dogs. If men were the receptive carrier of the egg this would be a non-topic as there would be an abortion clinic on every street corner next to the saloon. Men are dogs.

Sato4GOP said...

I doubt giving you any stats will change your mind. It isn't the number of citations it is the quality. I can find any number of pro-abortion authors who will tell you that abortion is harmless to the mother. The proof doesn't bare this out. Why don't you read something besides left biased publications and you will find my numbers aren't fall off at all.

You may have read any number of articles but my experience isn't just reading it is counseling, prescribing and treating hundreds of women who made a choice that they are finding hard to live with.

I believe experience trumps your type of education so I will leave it at that. If you wish to find the truth I am certain you can do it on your own without any help from me.

I wish you well.

Nightcrawler said...

Clearly the parents of a minor have the right to know what is happening to their daughter. Any elective surgery by a minor requires parental consent, as does permission to see an R rated movie. A life changing event such as abortion needs to be discussed by the whole family. Some families will may actually concur that the abortion is the best solution, other families will work together to raise a child. The decision is too large for an easily influenced young teen to make without parental consent.

sirocco said...

Sato,

Your response is a cop out. I read science studies for my profession, education and enjoyment, and they aren't all (or even most) "left-leaning". You provided a statistic of 99% and either can't, or won't, back it up.

I actually spent several hours trying to find that figure. The absolute "highest" I found was a study published Jan. 2006, involving participants in Christchurch, New Zealand over a 25-year span (1977-2002) which concluded 76% of the women who had had abortions suffered at some point from "severe depression".

Mind you, the study was pretty resoundly attacked for it's statistical methodology ... but even so, it doesn't approach the 99% figure you cited.

As for your personal experience, given (I assume) your job you do, of course, suffer from a sampling bias. Woman who had abortions and did NOT subsequently suffer from depression or other effects would have no need whatsoever for "counseling" or "treatment" with you.

I certainly CAN be pursuaded to change my opinions, but "argument by anecdote" is NOT going to do it. Nor should it.

Which is not intended to belittle the work you do -- it's serious, and I am quite sure painful work, and not work I could do. Would make me cry when I went home every day.



P.S. By the way, I note you mentioned the psychological effects on women who have abortions, and fail to cite at all the psychological effects on adopted children ... of course, one could argue any such effects are better than the alternative.

sirocco said...

Framer,

Good question. The statistics I cited before showed 4,203 children < 1 year old awaiting adoption. They show 1,108 children under one year were adopted from the public foster care system. So it looks like the figures are dealing _only_ with foster care adoptions.

Having said that ...

When I was poking around to try to find a reference for Sato's 99% figure (see above post) I found this paper from last Nov., which cites a figure of about 14K infant adoptions total in the US. (I also saw a similar figure somewhere else, but I couldn't find it again in a fast look ... ).

An influx of 156K new infants would be 11 times greater than all the infant adoptions which occur in the US. In fact, the paper gives a figure of 135K adoptions _total_ annually, for all ages, so 156K more infants is greater than the entire annual number of adoptions from all sources.

And remember, I think that 156K figure is too low, and the actual number would be close to 390K annually ...