Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 7, 2005 / 6 Kislev, 5766

A parent's right to know

By Jonathan Turley

Turley
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood, a case concerning the right of parents to be notified on abortions given to minor children. The case is seen as a bellwether on the court's shifting majority on abortion as well as the future of parental notice and consent laws in 43 states.


Cases like Ayotte are produced by a collision of two powerful interests: The right of parents to participate in major medical and moral decisions affecting their minor children vs. the right of children to have abortions.


Pro-choice advocates have opposed parental notice and consent laws with unbridled passion that often seems more a matter of blind faith than reasoned principle. Recently, Becca Pawling, who heads a women's group in Portsmouth, N.H., explained that opposition is based on the simple fact that "any limitations put on (abortion) is heading backward in time."


Pawling's comment captures how abortion has become a zero-sum game for pro-choice groups: Every curb on abortion is seen as an equal loss for women's rights. It is a view that is not shared by most citizens, who see abortion in the context of other legitimate interests — not some absolute right that trumps all other rights.


Polls have consistently shown that a vast majority of Americans, including pro-choice citizens, favor either parental notice or consent for abortions performed on minors. Last week, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll showed that 69% of citizens favored requiring minors to get parental consent. Polls routinely show that 75%-80% of citizens favor parental notice.

NO ABSOLUTE RIGHT
The absolutist view is equally at odds with our constitutional traditions. There are no absolute individual rights in our Constitution. The Framers forged a system protecting individual rights while recognizing legitimate countervailing interests of the state. In that balanced system, even such fundamental rights as the freedom of speech and free press, association and religion have been subject to some limitations.


For example, when states prohibit screaming "fire" in a crowded theater, they are not diminishing free speech. Such reckless conduct is not part of any reasonable definition of the right to free speech, just as the categorical exclusion of required parental participation is not part of any reasonable definition of the right to an abortion.


Pro-choice advocates would make abortion the only absolute right in our Constitution, even though it was not fully recognized by the Supreme Court until 1973. Conversely, parental rights have been recognized since the founding of our Republic but are routinely dismissed when they collide with the almighty right to an abortion.


As a pro-choice law professor, I was astonished to find myself on opposite sides with groups such as the ACLU when I helped draft Florida's parental notice amendment to its constitution. In Florida, a child could not get a tattoo or take an aspirin in school without parental consent, but any 12-year-old could walk into a clinic and demand an abortion without notifying her parents of a major medical procedure.


The amendment contained a requirement that any law would include a standard judicial bypass provision. Such bypass provisions allow courts to forgo parental notification for any number of reasons, including rape, incest, risk to the child, or where notification was not in the best interests of the child.

HARD-CORE MINORITY
Pro-choice groups in Florida rallied against parental notice, even with a judicial bypass. As I sat in those hearings, I kept wondering whom these groups represent. Most pro-choice Americans favor parental involvement in abortions for minors. It is a hard-core minority that resists any and all limitations. Yet, those are the zealots that tend to give money and seek positions in advocacy organizations. The result is that both the pro-life and pro-choice movements tend to be led by the most extreme, not the most representative, voices of their respective constituencies.


Pro-choice groups generally cite anecdotal accounts of girls who are made pregnant by their fathers or have a history of abuse — ignoring the exceptions for such cases under bypass provisions. The fact is that most fathers are not incestuous rapists. Likewise, most parents are not unhinged throwbacks who simply cannot handle juvenile pregnancies. Indeed, parents know a lot more about their children than do abortion advocates or judges. They have the history and connection with their kids to help them get through the trauma of such a pregnancy. Even in the most caring families, though, children often try to hide misconduct rather than face recrimination or embarrassment. The law should not reinforce those inclinations by allowing minors to bar parental knowledge or consent.


What these groups fail to recognize is that the rights of speech, association and religion mean little if parents cannot teach and reinforce moral choices within their families. Family values and integrity are not the enemies of the right to privacy but the very things that privacy is meant to protect.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan Turley is a law professor at George Washington University. Click here to visit his website. Comment by clicking here.

ARCHIVES

© 2005, Jonathan Turley

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles