Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The 'Duh!' Quote of the Day

Today's Oregonian features several articles sharing "horror stories" about women who had abortions as teenagers. The articles seem to be printed as an attempt to show why Ballot Measure 43 -- which would require parental notification before a minor girl could get an abortion -- would be a bad idea.

Many of the "horror stories" seem to ignore the fact that Measure 43's judicial bypass procedure would rectify the horrors. Particularly annoying was this misleading story, which featured A) a girl from another state; B) a father who was clearly abusive physically and emotionally; and C) a girl who was already an adult when she had her abortion, so M43 wouldn't apply. If this girl was a minor in Oregon, she could have sought the judicial bypass to avoid her abusive home situation. So could the girl who was impregnated by her abusive father. So would the girl with an abusive stepfather and another man living in a backyard trailer who acted out scenes from his porn videos with her and sisters.

And if there's some concern that a teen wouldn't reveal her abuse if M43 were in place, who does that implicate? Only one group: Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. If such groups are giving an abortion and either know about the abuse and don't report it, or don't ask about the circumstances surrounding an underage pregnancy, they are complicit in the abuse and deserve every lawsuit and state regulation that might come their way.

But among the many stories in this Oregonian series, there was one (seemingly innocuous) quote that stood out for me. It was from Sophia Sanders, a 17-year-old student at Portland's Madison High School:
The people who are going to be affected really won't be able to vote at all.
Sophia is right, to a point. The girls who would be affected by this measure won't be able to vote on it. However, M43 opponents must assume that the state's parents are innocent (or disinterested) bystanders, while the truth is that a daughter's abortion affects them just like it would any difficulty suffered by their child.

But look again at Sophia's point: the people who are going to be affected really won't be able to vote at all. There's a reason for that. Society does not trust minor children to make intelligent, reasoned, responsible choices with their vote until they are 18. In fact, society doesn't trust minor children to make a variety of choices before that age. Those choices are properly made by adults.

If society doesn't allow minors to vote because they often lack the necessary cognitive reasoning skills, what makes us think they can make a decision about an abortion without the involvement of the adults who are charged with guiding them toward responsible adulthood?

One other thing: I thought Reporter Michelle Cole's bias was obvious in the stories, as she noted that a supporter of M43 wears a "cross on a delicate chain" (a common attempt to suggest abortion opponents are using only religious arguments, while those attempts continuously ignore scientific arguments) while an opponent -- who was raped and then "forced to deal with an angry, abusive mother and shame from her mother's friends from church" -- is depicted in tears for not having the abortion and giving birth to a birth-defected child who she could visit in the hospital only by hitchhiking. I'm surprised it didn't say she had to walk in the snow, uphill, both ways.

Again, the subtle slam at people of faith, as if all such people are angry, abusive and intent on humiliation. Oh, and the latter pregnancy happened in 1972, prior to the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, so her story -- while heartbreaking -- is largely irrelevant.

4 Comments:

  • At 10/24/2006 5:46 AM, Anonymous Your Little Brother said…

    It's not often that I actually sit down and read your comments, but this entry struck my interest. Your argument was very thoughtful and one I've never thought of. Your logic of comparing the right to a private abortion by a minor to the ability in our society to vote and do other things was excellent. You should not just limit your thoughts to your blog, but should send it into the paper.

    Love ya.

     
  • At 10/24/2006 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are a retard.

     
  • At 10/24/2006 4:24 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    And there you have it, folks: the informational and intellectual superiority of the left, put on display by the anonymous 3:27 p.m. poster. Way to put me in my place.

     
  • At 11/07/2006 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Society does not trust minor children to make intelligent, reasoned, responsible choices with their vote until they are 18."

    Wow, but you can trust them to drive can't you? You can trust under age people to chose their own college, to work a part time to full time job? Society doesn't seem to have a problem trusting their roads to the 'minors'. Soceity doesn't seem to think that 'minors' can't be trusted to work, to help the economy.

    But, oh my goodness, a girl, who knows her body better than you ever will, can't be trusted to decide whether she wants an abortion? Soceity.

    Yes, let's look at all the Society has trusted, Ken.

    We trusted in the belief that blacks weren't even full people, we trusted that women were better seen than heard, and we certainly thought that Vietnam was a great idea...

    Oh wait, your fool proof 'society' messes up. Only this time, the people you're trying to opress, well they talked to a newspaper and are standing up against the ignorant people like the adults, who deem...unintelligent, unreasonable, and unable to make responsible choices.

    Well, hopefully, then you get hit by a sixteen year old driver, because obvously, she couldn't be trusted.

    Really, Ken, I understand your conservative views, but try and be logical, not just critical. If you've paid attention to the polls, and voting trends, you'll see that the young vioce is growing. So if you want health care when you're older, if you want your fragile little world that balances on the brink of destruction if any true liberties are granted to stay semi untouched, don't take away the youth's trust.

    Don't lead the way to what we had before Roe VS Wade.

    Hangers, death, and an ignorant country that thought that they had the right to make a decision for one individual.

    "Those choices are properly made by adults."

    Yep. You're right. Adults make great decisions. No adults have ever had abortions, murdered, raped, stolen or lied.

    You're a father, and one day you're going to watch you're children struggle to grow as you tell them, they can't be trusted.

    Unless your children are different than Sophia. I am sure that you're children would make the right decision right?

     

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