Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 April 29, 2005 / 20 Nisan, 5765

The politics of pregnant girls

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Imagine someone you may not know or like taking your daughter without your knowledge to another state to have her appendix removed. Or to have a hysterectomy. Or even to have her wisdom teeth removed.

You'd be outraged, right? How dare anyone determine that your child should have surgery without your counsel, permission or knowledge? In my tribe, a jury would forgive nearly any response short of ultimate justice.

Yet, in some states, parents are supposed to sit quietly, shucking their peas while their daughters cross state lines to get an abortion — without even a vote on which noble soul provides transportation, much less an invitation to provide the emotional support most human beings, especially children, require after ending an "unwanted pregnancy."

A bill passed Wednesday in the U.S. House (270-157) seeks to change the likelihood of that happening by making it a federal crime for any adult to transport someone younger than 18 across state lines for an abortion without parental consent. The name of the legislation alone is enough to send shivers: the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.

The proposed law, which still faces Senate action, also requires doctors who perform abortions on underage girls to comply with state-notification laws and to contact parents, with violations running to $100,000 and a year in jail. Currently, 23 states require parental notification. Ten states, though they require parental notice, also allow other adults (grandparents, for example) to be notified. Another 17 states, including California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, allow minors unrestricted access to abortion.

There are lots of ways to look at this legislation, and cynics on both sides are behaving predictably. Pro-choice advocates see it as yet another erosion of reproductive rights and have resorted to the scariest extrapolation: Passing this law will endanger victims of abusive fathers.

Others lament the erosion of children's rights, as when Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said that the law would " in effect make the young girl carry the laws of her state on her back wherever she goes."

Now there's a riveting argument. We wouldn't want to burden a young girl with heavy legislation that thwarts her desire for surgery. A child's gotta do what a child's gotta do.

Pro-lifers, likewise, raise the specter of the ickiest bogeyman in fatherdom: The abusive boyfriend, having deflowered the elfin lass, spirits Daddy's girl away for a concert with the devil.

Although true that older men too often impregnate underage girls, it isn't necessary to evoke worst-case scenarios to advance what is otherwise a commonsense position. That is, no child should be operated on without a parent's consent — no matter what the procedure — except perhaps to save the child's life when parents are too ignorant to make a reasonable decision.

If, say, parents prefer to hop around a boiling porridge of toad eyes and coon tails instead of agreeing to a lifesaving tracheotomy, then let the courts intercede. Otherwise, let's not allow exceptions, including the occasionally intractable parent, to override reason and the best interest of children.

Even if you approve of abortion as a choice "between a woman, her doctor and insert-god-of-your-choice," few parents would make the same argument for children. And even if you believe that abortion is only another surgical procedure that removes a clump of cells, it is still a surgical procedure for which, clearly, a minor needs parental consent. Translated: love, support, forgiveness and a hug.

In the bigger picture, the proposed law is also good for families. Parental autonomy has been incrementally undermined in recent years through various well-intended government initiatives, whether through public education programs that parents don't like or "protective" services that intrude in private matters even when not warranted.

At the same time, cultural trends minimize parents, especially fathers, as ignorant rubes while elevating children as intellectually superior, and surely far cooler. Underpinning these trends is the governing assumption that parents are not competent to raise their own children.

Granted there are plenty of bad parents out there — many of them sitting in corporate board rooms and legislative bodies — but most parents have their children's best interests at heart. They also know that abortion, more than a surgical procedure, is an emotional, often life-altering process that doesn't end when you cross a state line.

Mothers and fathers may be disagreeable at times, but a pregnant girl needs her parents more than she needs a special-interest group or a politician or a lousy boyfriend — none of whom love her as much.

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 Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2005, Tribune Media Services

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles