Sent to the SF Chronicle, LA Times, and Sacramento
A minor is required to get his or her parent’s consent or acknowledgement prior
to engaging in any significant activity. Joining the military, getting married,
getting medical treatment, driving a car, going to court…..you name it. This requirement
is based on two principles. One, in law, a parent has responsibility for a minor’s
actions and activities. Two, it is assumed that the parent is always concerned with
the minor’s best interests and generally has superior judgment. I buy these arguments.
The opponents of Proposition 4 argue that the above is true in every case except
abortion for a minor.
Whenever a child does something seriously wrong, it is likely that the parents are
going to be upset and angry. If a son or daughter is kicked out of school, has an
automobile accident, get arrested, or gets bad grades parents are notified. It is
not just to ensure punishment for the child; the parent is also expected to do something
about it. Not just punish the child but to counsel them, to help them through the
tough time and help them improve.
A pregnancy is a terrible burden for a young girl. In most cases it is the place
where a loving parent’s involvement is needed most. In many cases the parent may
support abortion, in others they may not. Of course there will be hurt and pain
and anger, but in the vast majority of cases there will also be love and care and
concern. It is a place where the parent’s involvement and support is needed most.
The alternative is that a scared and embarrassed child, seeking to hide her problem
from those who love her most, and acting on the advice of her teenage friends or
an equally terrified boyfriend goes to Planned Parenthood and gets an abortion on
the assumption that that will solve everything.
Almost all women will say that the decision to have an abortion is a terrible and
painful choice. To place the burden of that choice and its consequences on a minor
child is unconscionable.
No parent wants their minor daughter to be sexually involved, but it happens. In
most cases it is a mistake made by two immature people, in some it is the result
of incest, rape, or some other type of criminal action. To deny the parent knowledge
of this and to deny the child the benefit of their care and involvement is unacceptable.
There are exceptions to this position; the Proposition makes allowance for them.
Editor: This November 4, Californians have to decide which is more important: protecting
our daughters, or protecting the "ideal" of unrestricted abortion on demand. The
Prop 4 campaign has shown that parental notification laws reduce teen pregnancy
and abortion. They have shown that, in the 34 states which have these laws already,
there is no evidence of any minor having been harmed. They have shown that predators
use secret abortions to cover up their sexual abuse of young girls. The opposition's
fall back position is that we should oppose Prop 4 because, in some unspecified
way, it "threatens" abortion rights, despite the fact that abortion is still legal
in all the other states that have these laws. California, it's time to get our priorities
straight. Vote YES on 4, to restore to parents the right to protect their daughters.
September 25, 2008
Abortion and underage girls Regarding “Notify parents/Proposition 4 responds to
critics' objection” (Editorial, Sept. 23): The Union-Tribune's support of Proposition
4 reflects the common-sense appeal to both pro-choice and pro-life voters to protect
teens, notify parents of a surgical procedure, and ensure that the best way to keep
abortion legal is to keep it safe. At least 35 other states have successfully enacted
similar legislation that has proven to be effective in reducing pregnancies, abortions
and sexually transmitted infections without any harm to teens. Thank you for considering
the initiative carefully instead of the usual knee-jerk support of the opposition
that has now determined protecting minors from parental abuse is somehow risky and
Your editorial skipped over one common scenario for teen pregnancies. In the case of statutory rape, it is of the utmost urgency that parents know. Otherwise, the
offending uncle or coach can simply drop off the young girl and pay for the abortion,
no questions asked. They can get away with it, no questions asked. Hopefully, Californians
are not on autopilot, thinking to themselves that here's that same old ballot proposal
again. The fine print makes Proposition 4 the one we can finally live with, and
we need it to protect our teens.