Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hooray for ND senators

I happily applaud the decision of my state senators to oppose the "Child Protection Custody Act."

This would have made it mandatory for minors to obtain parental permission before seeking an abortion.

If you need a dramatic example of why the Child Custody Act will do more harm than good, look no further than the story of Becky Bell.

Becky was just 17 years old and a junior in high school when she found out she was pregnant. She went to a local women’s clinic but they told her she must have parental consent to obtain her legal abortion. Ashamed and afraid of letting her parents down, Becky turned to a back-alley abortion. She died September 16, 1988.

Tragically some pro-life people have tried to hijack Becky's story, claiming she died of a drug ovedose of from other complications. But it's not true, Becky died as a result of dirty instruments being used during a back-alley abortion. Others claim Becky could have just as easily died having a legal abortion. Also false. Medical abortions, when performed correctly by real doctors, are a less dangerous procedure than childbirth!

I think we could all agree that a young girl would benefit from adult guidance when it comes to difficult decisions like abortion. But we have to acknowledge that her family could be abusive, or it could be that a family member caused the pregnancy. Girls living in extremely rigid homes may even face violent retaliation for having sex before they were married.

Truth be told, a teenage girl who can go to her parents and talk to them about abortion, probably will. She will want their support and will need them for monetary assistance, abortions range from $300-$500.

I have several friends who have needed abortions. Some could have gone to their parents and others never in a million years would have done so. Luckily these girls were over 18 but I shudder to think what they might have turned to if they were minors.

Karen Bell, mother of Becky Bell, had an interesting viewpoint which she shared in a 1991 “60-minutes” interview. "Two years ago I would have been totally for the parental consent law, but not now. ... Mothers and fathers have both come up and said, 'Well, we just know that our daughters would come to us, we know it.' And I said, 'And I knew Becky would come to me.' And look where she is."

Clinics that provide abortions also provide counseling and ask several questions prior to the procedure to make sure women are not being coerced into the procedure and it is something that they themselves want. Young girls won’t be alone in their decision to seek an abortion, unless we give them no where else to turn.

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