Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Endangering Teenage Women

The Senate voted yesterday 65 - 34 to make it a crime for anyone but a parent to help a teenage girl obtain an abortion in a neighboring state without parental consent.

I couldn't help but wonder how many of those supporting the bill have ever talked with a desperate pregnant teenage woman. I flashed back to my years as director of counseling at the Planned Parenthood affiliate in Washington, D.C. where at times we provided confidential pregnancy alternatives counseling to daughters of Members of Congress. I some times had to remind myself and our counselors that our responsibility was to our clients even if their parent was actively working to eliminate abortion services.

I strongly support parental involvement whenever possible for teenagers facing unplanned pregnancies. But yesterday's vote doesn't increase that involvement; it just means that some teenage girls will choose to travel on their own without any adult support rather than continue a pregnancy or seek their parent's consent.

The Senators appear to be more concerned about punishing teenage girls than preventing teenage pregnancies in the first place. How else can they explain that they rejected in a 51 to 48 vote an amendment to the bill that would have created programs to prevent teeenage pregnancy?

1 comment:

Infoman said...

I found it interesting that you used "Teenage Women" for minor girls in the titles of your posts and elsewhere. I understand your concerns, but I'm not convinced that it's so bad that the wishes of the parents of minor girls are respected. I find it troubling that a relative could overrule the wishes of a girl's parents.