Does it make you uneasy to consider the possibility that in California today, your daughter could be removed from school by a “counselor” you’ve never met, who has secured financial arrangements on her behalf, to procure a surgery you do not “know” about? Would you want to know?
That is the fundamental question facing voters next week when confronting Proposition 85, otherwise known as the “parental notification” proposition. The subject of this proposition deals with fundamental legal issues involving the protection of minor girls, not a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Don’t be fooled. Proposition 85 involves minor children, not legally adult women seeking a legal abortion. Opponents of the proposition stand to lose a lot of tax money if it passes, so their “business” is at stake. What is being requested in this legislation is a law to ensure that a parent of a young girl possesses a legal right to know when surgery is being performed on her and/or whether abortive medications have been administered to her. Before you vote on Tuesday, I would urge you to consider a single question. Would you want to know?
If passed, nothing changes, except maybe the amount of cash pocketed by abortion mills. A parent could technically get notified and consent to an abortion for their child. Nothing is changing as far as “abortion rights” for children. If a minor in an abusive home is seeking remedy from parental notification, there are waivers which are afforded to these minors by the courts within this proposition. The opponents of the proposition don’t want you to know that. They’ve launched a costly campaign to defeat your right to know on Nov. 7 because they stand to lose money. For children in an abusive environment, three protections within the proposition are in place. First, if the court determines that a child’s parents would abuse her, the court will order an abortion without parental notification. Secondly, if the court determines that a minor girl is mature enough to give informed consent, the state will waive notification. Lastly, if there is a medical emergency, the abortion can be performed immediately. There are no loop holes here, just a law that would make it a requirement for abortion providers to notify you when your minor child is seeking an abortion. Would you want to know?
What does it mean for you to know that most abortions performed on minors are paid for by the state or other adults not legally responsible for the health and well-being of your child? What opponents don’t want you to know is even more disturbing. Technically speaking, child abuse and statutory rape can occur in cases where abortions are secretly performed on minors and parents are the last to know because the abortion provider is not legally required to notify a minor’s parent. Planned Parenthood claims to be fully compliant with mandatory reporting of child abuse crimes, but one need only to listen to the tape-recorded telephone conversations which are available on the web at www.yeson85.net between their clinics and a “13 year old girl” to understand how little protection is in place for a child in this situation. If you’re not disturbed, then something is wrong with you.
Post operative complications from performing abortions on young girls include infections, infertility and in some cases, death. The child suffers the consequences of a decision made in fear, and the parent is unable to help because they have not been notified. Opponents vehemently want the status quo because of money and the politics over legal abortion.
Let’s suppose you work full-time with two daughters attending the local middle and high schools. Tomorrow one of them will be taken by someone you’ve never met to an abortion center for surgery. Pre-operative pelvic examinations and lab tests are done on her, IV’s are started, general or local anesthesia is administered to her, invasive gynecological surgery takes place and then it’s over. Your daughter is transported to and from school to this facility and discharged with little if any post operative care because all of this happened in a single afternoon. What if she developed an infection? Would she have the presence of mind with a high fever to know that she needed to be in the hospital because of a terrible post op infection? How many girls neglect their health because of “their secret”? Who loves your child more than you do; a school counselor, a school nurse, or the abortion provider who sees her one time? The abortion center stands to gain between $300- $400 for surgery funded entirely by your tax dollars and mine. What do they stand to lose from not notifying you? That’s the real question.
My daughter was hospitalized last year after two knee surgeries with unexpected complications from secondary health issues, including the surgery. It wasn’t even a question of our participation in her care; it was expected. Her father and I were her primary advocates. Why are we excluded in a crisis pregnancy? Follow the politics, follow the money. At least 30 states in the United States have “notification” laws in place to protect minors. Why is California among the last to adopt these protections? It’s because the largest percentage of abortions performed on minors are performed in New York and California and abortion providers are the strongest lobby against your right to know.
In a state that has laws prohibiting minors from taking aspirin at school without parental oversight, we are still not allowed to know when that same child seeks a surgical procedure that could affect her health physically and emotionally for the rest of her life.
Prop 85 is not about consent. Your “Yes” vote is about your right to raise your own child. Read through the rhetoric and make an informed decision next week. Would you want to know?
Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and bi-weekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the web at www.familyfare.blogspot.com