Forums » Local Government & Politics

 

Prop 4, Parental notification

This topic has been closed.
    • 317 posts
    151
    December 1, 2008 11:26:39 AM PST
    Post 136: You keep using the word "baby". Why? A fertilized egg isn't a baby. Neither is a blastocyst, or an embryo.

    That's one of the messy realities of the abortion debate... the subject of discussion changes, both qualitatively and quantitatively over the course of nine or so months. We generally use the word "baby" to refer to a newborn, an infant, and not for a single cell, or a mass of undifferentiated cells.

    Language matters, especially for controversial topics like this one.


    The brain waves of a fetus are recorded at forty days (six weeks) on the electroencephalogram (EEG) (H. Hamlin, "Life or Death by EEG," Journal of the American Medical Association, October 12, 1964, 120). Brain function is "reliably present" on the EEG at eight weeks gestation (which is six weeks after conception) (J. Goldenring, "Development of the Fetal Brain," New England Journal of Medicine, August 26, 1982, 564).

    Biologists of every position on the abortion issue concede that human life begins at conception. That is when a genetically distinct individual with 46 chromosomes comes into being. At that point the color of the hair and eyes, the fingerprints, the predisposition to various diseases and so on have been determined. All that is needed are the proper oxygen and nutrients for the individual to grow into a healthy adult.

    By the time a teen  mother realizes she is pregnant, usually at 6 weeks gestation, and by the time she gets money and talks to a counselor to get her to a dr., the fetus is usually older than 6 weeks gestation. At this point brain function is noted and the heart has already been beating for weeks at this time! I wouldn't consider the fetus a single cell or a mass of undifferentiated cells at this time of gestation!
  • 152
    December 1, 2008 11:29:12 AM PST
    P.S., SDL commented:  "If you instill self respect in your kids then they might still have sex but its doubtful they will use it as a salve for feeling unloved, etc. Which is what a lot of these teen girls are doing."

    That couldn't be more true!  That is something I often tell my daughter when we talk about her pregnant "friends".  I tell her how sad for them.  Maybe they feel like they need to have something of their own to love that will love them back.  Then we discuss life and what really ends up happening.
    • 4770 posts
    153
    December 1, 2008 11:30:01 AM PST
    "Odd that you would use the "nose in the tent" argument, which of course is the "slippery slope" argument - one of the Logical Fallacies; when earlier you decry the use of another fallacy (Fallacy of Equivocation)."

    You said why there was, as you see it, "a push against late-term restrictions, informed consent, accurate data collection and proper medical records."

    I answered you by giving you my assessment of why those who are "pushing" are doing so. I never said I shared their assessment with respect to the "camel's nose in the tent" analogy, which is, as you point out, a "Slippery Slope" fallacy.

    That doesn't, of course, mean that there aren't good arguments to be made for late-term abortion in some cases.

    "But in this case, not accurate preposed: dehumanize is not the same as not human, and I am not using the terms interchangeably.  My intent was exactly what the word conveys - to make a human less so by use of language, reference and intent in order to justify treating them as non-human."

    I've already stated my position on this point... I don't see any good reason for belaboring it.

    As for the rarity of abortion, I'm all for making it more rare... using tools like education and fertility control technology, and not by the brute force of police and jails.

    You've already made it clear that you disapprove of some of the reasons women have for terminating their pregnancy (while evading actually answering my question as to what you consider to be valid reasons). I don't see any point to belaboring that, either. You have your criteria for acceptability, and others have theirs. I'm all for increasing the reliability, availability, and use of contraceptives as well.

    "Accurate data mean just that - requiring (from medical providers) that the same diagnostic and demographic data that has to be collected and reported for other public issues be collected and reported on abortion as well."

    Fine by me... so long as this isn't a disguised effort to push women away from abortions by threatening their medical privacy, as some have alleged.

    "Informed consent means just that - that the same level of disclosure required of other medical proceedures -- as well as viability and alternative options -- be required for abortion."

    Do you have some evidence to support the position that this isn't already happening?

    As for your suggestion that I volunteer at a NICU, I cannot help but note that you aren't trying to appeal to my reason, but instead are trying to inspire strong emotions in me as a way of changing my mind. That seems like a form of demagoguery to me, and I have a particularly strong distaste for that tactic. It has been my experience that demagoguery is often used by those whose positions lack a satisfactory rational foundation.

    Funny you should mention NICU, though... some friends of ours recently had to have a C Section, and their son spent time in an NICU. I visited them, spent time with them, met their son for the first time, and generally did my small part to help them through it all.

    Perhaps you wish to paint me as some sort of monster who wishes to rip babies out of their mother's wombs.

    If so, I decline to accept that characterization.

    Perhaps, instead, you wish to cast as shadow upon my position, to insinuate some sort of connection between myself and the aforementioned monster.

    If so, I decline to accept that insinuation.

    You and I have different criteria by which we judge the acceptability of abortion. I am no less a rational, moral, ethical person than you are... it's just that my reason, morality and ethics don't happen to always coincide with yours.
    • 852 posts
    154
    December 1, 2008 11:30:05 AM PST

    I find it really ironic that you can't send your child to school with an antibiotic without a doctor's note and having to check it into the office.  Yet, that same child can be taken by her counselor to get an abortion without the parents' permission.  Something isn't right here.

    momtwice, you're right when you say that something isn't right... and, IMO, what isn't right is that the girl feels safer going to her counselor for help than she does her parents. A parental notification law won't fix that problem.

    My interpretation of momtwice's post did not reference whether the child felt safer but rather the law required a doctor's note and having it checked in to the office but an abortion could be arranged solely on the determination of the child. I have a difficult time with the logic that a child is capable of making such a decision without the advice and council of her parents but is incapable of getting medicine prescribed for an infection, joining the military, voting, being responsible for their own credit, choosing whether to attend school, or getting a driver's licence. If the argument is to emancipate all children at the age of 14, then I can follow the logic. But then, I do not see any medical procedure for minors as being a decision that a normal 14 year old child should be allowed to make.

    PP, your reasoning is well stated! I would find interesting the statistics reflecting the drop in STD's and AIDS since California enacted Chapter 1654 in 1953 and further a comparison between California and the 34 "less enlightened" States who require some form of parental notification.

    A little history:

    Parental Consent for Abortions for Minors. In 1953, the California Legislature enacted Chapter 1654, which allowed minors to receive, without parental consent or notice, the same range of medical care for a pregnancy that is available to an adult. This law eventually became the vehicle through which minors could obtain abortions without parental consent or notice. In 1987, the Legislature amended the Therapeutic Abortion Act--through the enactment of Chapter 1237--to require minors to obtain parental consent or a court authorization prior to obtaining an abortion. However, implementation of Chapter 1237 was enjoined by the courts, and in 1997 the California Supreme Court invalidated the law by finding that it violates the California Constitution's right to privacy. Consequently, minors in the state may receive abortion services, including abortion services provided by the state Medi-Cal Program, to the same extent that adults may receive such services and without parental consent or notification. The United States Supreme Court determined in 1992 that parental consent requirements similar to those of Chapter 1237 do not violate the United States Constitution (Planned Parenthood v. Casey).

    • 2739 posts
    155
    December 1, 2008 11:36:42 AM PST
    SDL:  I am willing that the law protects the lives of babies.  I am willing that our laws err on the side of life.  I am willing that the law recognize the critical role that parents play in the lives of children.

    I am also willing to see that the rare or infrequent times these two are not possible, that we have a process to address them, such as judicial bypass, exceptions for life of mother, rape or incest.

    And I have consistently said (in re your reference to another thread) that I support the process and part of that process was going back to the ballot if you don't agree with the results.
    • 4770 posts
    156
    December 1, 2008 11:37:43 AM PST
    "The brain waves of a fetus are recorded at forty days (six weeks) on the electroencephalogram (EEG) (H. Hamlin, "Life or Death by EEG," Journal of the American Medical Association, October 12, 1964, 120). Brain function is "reliably present" on the EEG at eight weeks gestation (which is six weeks after conception) (J. Goldenring, "Development of the Fetal Brain," New England Journal of Medicine, August 26, 1982, 564)."

    Interesting... I'll have to check that out. I do wonder, however, if that activity is actually an indication of consciousness, or only of lower-level activity that we'd observe in any other mammalian brain.

    "Biologists of every position on the abortion issue concede that human life begins at conception."

    We've been through this already: at conception we have a single cell... not a baby, not a person. That single cell is "human" as in "has human DNA", but it is not human as in "is a person" or "is due the moral / ethical consideration we give a person." Adding the word "Biologists" to your claim doesn't make it any more valid.

    "By the time a teen  mother realizes she is pregnant, usually at 6 weeks gestation, and by the time she gets money and talks to a counselor to get her to a dr., the fetus is usually older than 6 weeks gestation. At this point brain function is noted and the heart has already been beating for weeks at this time! I wouldn't consider the fetus a single cell or a mass of undifferentiated cells at this time of gestation!"

    I wouldn't consider a fetus to be a single cell or a blastocyst at six weeks, either... but you still have to come up with a valid argument as to why abortion should not be legal at that point. IMO, you have yet to do so.
  • 157
    December 1, 2008 11:51:07 AM PST
    DoubleP, you are going to make the couple in their 40s who are married and are using a very reliable form of birth control such as an IUD keep an unwanted pregnancy? This is the real word scenario. Birth control methods fail, you don't punish people who have done all they can to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
    • 2739 posts
    158
    December 1, 2008 11:53:26 AM PST
    MikeA:  is your position that legally protected human life (I am confining my part of the discussion to legal statuses rather than moral or ethical ones) begins at 28 weeks (start of the 3rd Trimester)?


    • 2739 posts
    159
    December 1, 2008 12:03:37 PM PST
    Superdoc: I don't consider a child punishment.

    Statistics from Guttmacher show that that the scenario you presented is fairly rare, so not a representative example.

    If you use statistical modeling (as is used in polling) to create a profile of the most likely/frequent scenario, you get a woman in her 20's, single, infrequently using contraceptive or not using at all.

    Do we need to educate people better - yes.  Should we punish (meaning kill) a child because someone choose to have sex and failed to take adequate safeguards - no.
    • 4770 posts
    160
    December 1, 2008 12:07:31 PM PST
    Are you planning on answering my question to you, as to the criteria which you personally consider to be acceptable criteria for abortion?

    As to your recent question to me:

    MikeA:  is your position that legally protected human life (I am confining my part of the discussion to legal statuses rather than moral or ethical ones) begins at 28 weeks (start of the 3rd Trimester)?

    It's not a question of my position... it's a question of the law. As the law now stands, a fetus at 28 weeks or older can only be killed under certain conditions, while one younger than that can be killed at the discretion of the woman carrying it.

    If that is what you mean by "legally protected human life begins at 28 weeks", then I'd say "That is the state of the law at this time.", but I get the feeling you're actually asking a different question. Could you clarify your intent, please?
    • 2739 posts
    161
    December 1, 2008 12:27:15 PM PST
    MikeA:  This is a discussion forum, so my intent is to understand what your position is, so our dialogue can have a framework. You are at point A, I am at point B...is there a point C where we can agree.

    I thought I answered your question, but let me clarify:

    1st: The law needs to be changed.  20 weeks is clearly a human being, earlier may be as well.  But let's start at 20 weeks for the purposes of this discussion.  After 20 weeks, compelling medical (life threatening beyond a normal pregnancy) evidence must be present. 

    2nd: Parental consent should be required, with exceptions/bypass from medical and legal if there is evidence or compelling argument that such consent presents a danger to the minor seeking an abortion.


    So my question to you, was "is your position that legally protected human life (I am confining my part of the discussion to legal statuses rather than moral or ethical ones) begins at 28 weeks (start of the 3rd Trimester)"

    If that is the case, when exactly did my daughters (born much earlier than 28 weeks) become human beings in your eyes?
    • 4770 posts
    162
    December 1, 2008 12:58:59 PM PST
    I could get behind shifting the threshold from "28 weeks" to "20 weeks."

    I still think that compulsory parental notification is a bad idea, because of the potential for abuse, and the effect such a law would have on girls being able to or likely to seek medical help. The attempts to get such a parental notification law in the past have made the exceptions sufficiently difficult to obtain such that the negatives associated with a blanket requirement for parental notification were still present.
  • 163
    December 1, 2008 1:14:13 PM PST
    Do we have any stats from parental notification states vs non-notification states, re: violence against minors, etc.?
  • 164
    December 1, 2008 1:28:20 PM PST

    PP I just illustrated clear reasons why we should not have parental notification and yet you have not addressed a single one.

    As far as my scenario of an unwanted pregnancy happening to a woman in their 40s using birth control being rare. Look at the stats you yourself provided. 50% of those who have abortions were using a birth control method. Why don't we work on getting the other 50% using a reliable method before we force people to have unwanted children.

    A more accurate assessment of abortion rates is % of pregnancies ending in abortion. And yes this is bimodal, teens and women over their 40s having the highest rates. 31% of pregnancies to women in their 40s ends in an abortion. So yes I do know what the heck I'm talking about.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/tables/3422602t.html#t1

    This is my take on it. If someone uses a seatbelt and it fails, I'm not going to tell them "Oh well, suck it up. You get no medical care." That's what you are asking people who get pregnant to do, and I will never support that. Its not your decision or mine, its the person carrying the pregnancy, period.

  • 165
    December 1, 2008 1:37:46 PM PST
    SDL is right.  After my longwinded post, one of the the points I was trying to make (as the mother of a teenage daughter with many friends already pregnant) is that our teenage girls think nothing about having unprotected sex with multiple partners and if they get pregnant, oh well. 

    Another point I tried to make was how easy it is for them to have sex.  Parents are working and when these schools have their reverse minimum days, the kids don't go to school until 11:00.  They have a lot of free time on their hands.

    What about the kids that are terrified of their parents?  I know when I was a teenager if I even thought of doing anything bad, my father knew about it.  I don't think I'd be here today on EGO had I gotten pregnant as a teenager.
  • 166
    December 1, 2008 2:46:44 PM PST
    I would like to see some stats of violence against teens resulting from parental notification.  It is difficult to accept an argument without at least something to back it up other than one's opinion.
  • 167
    December 1, 2008 3:22:56 PM PST
    And I would say the onus is on the side trying to change the laws. In this case chip away at abortion rights. In my humble experience fear of lack of confidentiality is a real barrier to care. Kids are terrified of what parents will think about a variety of things.
  • 168
    December 1, 2008 4:18:28 PM PST
    SC3, SDL is right.  My question is, where in the world would you find statistics like these.  While I pointed out that some teen parents deal with it, I'm sure there are a greater number that do not.  These parents, I would imagine, force their daughters into having an abortion with major consequences.  How many on this thread that are female, are willing to admit that their parents would have forced them into having an abortion?
  • 169
    December 1, 2008 4:50:04 PM PST
    Exactly. What are you going to do with this knowledge? Force your teen to keep an unwanted pregnancy
    ?
  • 170
    December 1, 2008 4:59:28 PM PST
    The next logical question is then feelings about in-vitro fertilization and destruction of embryos. I am very interested whether or not some poster's views on this topic are consistent with their views on abortion. 
  • 171
    December 1, 2008 4:59:58 PM PST
    Just out of curiosity, I asked my soon to be 16 year old daughter (who I have a VERY close relationship with) this question.  She said, she would want her friends to have this option without their parents knowledge/consent.  She said that she has "a lot of friends who's parent's would not understand". 

    Now, although I pointed out (almost) the other side of the story in a previous post, I decided to go straight to the teen to find out what they thought.  She did say she would discuss it with me, however; so many of her friends do not have this option.  I can discuss these issues with my daughter because I consider her very mature for her age and frankly, I wanted to know how she felt about the subject.  She gave me a very straight and forward answer without even thinking about it.
  • 172
    December 1, 2008 5:06:58 PM PST

    Also, again...this is a very tough topic.  It all depends on the parents relationship with their child.  We can only hope our child with confide in us.  This, as many of us are aware is not always the case.  So, for those children we must ensure they are protected, physically and emotionally.

    SDL is speaking from a doctor's prospective.  I'm sure he has seen a lot that the rest of us have not.  I wouldn't/couldn't imagine.  I can only take care of my own and hope that other girls out there have the same opportunities my children have.

  • 173
    December 1, 2008 5:39:06 PM PST

    Guys 34 states already require parental notification so the stats should be available.

    Here is an article outlining some of the pro's and con's of parental notification and some stats to back them up. 

    Parental Notification Issue

    Some stats back up what SDL and others are saying, some do not.  It is interesting reading and makes me desire to know more.

    • 2739 posts
    174
    December 2, 2008 9:54:10 AM PST
    SDL - I followed your link, and I am pasting here as well
    15 0.7 1.2
    15-19 18.6 20.6
    15-17 6.5 8.8
    18-19 12.0 11.5
    20-24 33.0 32.8
    25-29 23.1 21.4
    30-34 13.5 14.4
    35-39 8.1 7.5
    >=40§ 3.1 2.3

    As I stated the most likely profile of a person seeking abortion would be a woman in her 20's -  on this table that is 56%; your scenario was of a woman in her 40's - on this table 3%...

    If you read through some of the studies you'll find that 55% of abortions are by women who NEVER use contraceptive; and of those who did use contraceptives up to 75% did not use them during the month they got pregnant.

    SC3 - I tried your link, but it requires a password, will try again later.

    I don't think anyone imagines that it would be easy for a 15 year old to tell her parents that she is pregnant. But the current system makes it so easy to bypass parents, that involving parents has become more the exception rather than the rule.

    There needs to be a legal/medical bypass for children who need it.  This might even be helpful in protecting the child in the future, because if they fear physical or mental violence or abuse due to pregnancy, there may be a broader problem that needs looking into.

    And again, the state and providers fail to collect accurate data that decision makers need when considering this issue, so we have to rely on academic studies, and data from other states.

    I do wonder why Planned Parenthood and other provider groups consistently oppose efforts to increase record keeping and data collection.



    • 317 posts
    175
    December 2, 2008 10:12:29 AM PST
    What about setting up a mentor program within the school for girls who are afraid to tell their parents about their pregnancy? The mentor could be a go-between for the parent and teen. At the h.s. that my teens attend, have a mentor program for all the jr.'s and (not sure about sr.'s) so they can discuss personal issues with another person, other than their parent. This is a trusting person the teen chose, who they get together twice a month.

    If a scared pregnant teen who has to make such a tough choice in her life, it would be nice for them to have a mentor to discuss other options besides abortion! Teens do need to have their hands held once in awhile...and maybe if they did have a mentor, they might of not become pregnant in the first place.

    Just a thought.....
  • 176
    December 2, 2008 10:39:16 AM PST

    If the safety of the teen is what most are concerned about, whether through abuse at home or them being too scared to seek a legal abortion and involving their parents, then we should expand the taking away of parental rights to other areas.  If kids get in trouble at school or get bad grades, we should also make that exempt from parental notification.  Also, if a teen is arrested, that should be exempt as well.  It's just as likely to lead to parental abuse in both cases, and it may encourage them to seek other more dangerous ways to keep their parents from finding out. 

    Bottom line is that people don't really care about those other issues if it leads to parental abuse or something more dangerous.  It's about abortion and keeping it legal, something which I support, keep abortions legal, don't take away parental rights as a result of that one issue though. 

    • 4770 posts
    177
    December 2, 2008 11:36:33 AM PST
    "I don't think anyone imagines that it would be easy for a 15 year old to tell her parents that she is pregnant. But the current system makes it so easy to bypass parents, that involving parents has become more the exception rather than the rule."

    How is the lack of a legal requirement for reporting preventing parents from establishing good relationships with their daughters? Whether there is a notification law in placed or not, nothing prevents a girl from notifying her parents. If a girl doesn't want to, or feels she can't safely involve her parents (fears of abuse, abandonment, of being forced to carry a pregnancy against her will or forced to terminate against her will), there may be some who will do so anyway (with the possibility of those negative consequences), while others will find some other way of addressing their situation, or won't address it until it becomes too obvious to ignore.

    I don't think whatever good is done when it comes to that subset of the population which (a) would not otherwise involve their parents, (b) is force to notify her parents because of the law, and (c) has a positive outcome is worth the potential harm for those for whom a, b, and c are not the case.

    "There needs to be a legal/medical bypass for children who need it.  This might even be helpful in protecting the child in the future, because if they fear physical or mental violence or abuse due to pregnancy, there may be a broader problem that needs looking into."

    I heartily agree... so long as those bypass methods don't end up being so difficult or (from the perspective of the pregnant girl) risky that they, for all practical purposes, might as well not exist.

    "I do wonder why Planned Parenthood and other provider groups consistently oppose efforts to increase record keeping and data collection."

    Assuming this is true, I suspect it has to do with concerns that the record keeping and data collection mechanisms will be used to violate doctor / patient confidentiality, and the privacy of those seeking abortions. Or, there may be the concern that, should abortion law change, that these records will be used as a means of prosecution.
    • 4770 posts
    178
    December 2, 2008 11:39:40 AM PST
    breechee, I think a mentoring program is an excellent idea... so long as those being mentored can depend on the confidentiality of the mentor / student relationship (or, if not, know what the boundaries are as far as what is confidential and what is not).
  • 179
    December 2, 2008 3:44:05 PM PST
    nothing prevents a girl from notifying her parents. If a girl doesn't want to, or feels she can't safely involve her parents (fears of abuse, abandonment, of being forced to carry a pregnancy against her will or forced to terminate against her will),

    we'll never know the answer, but I'd guess a good percentage of the girls don't tell their parents because of the reasons you listed, but out of embarrassment or that they let their parents down.  It's probably more that than anything else.  Most kids don't want to let their parents down and if they can avoid that by any means necessary they will do that.  The girls that would be abused, are probably already being abused. Not likely this would lead to the first time they would suffer from parental abuse.  If they've never been abused before, this isn't likely to be the cause of the first time.  I imagine some parents may force their daughter to have the baby.  I think less would force the girl to have an abortion.  The last reason doesn't apply to the notification situation since if they are wanting to keep the baby, and not tell their parents they would have to run away anyway.  Notification doesn't give the parents anymore legal rights as far as forcing their daughter to carry the child to term.  I think they could still get an abortion.  It may lead some parents to give their daughter an ultimatum, carry the child or get an abortion and leave.  Again, I'd guess that cases of abuse or parents forcing girls to carry the baby or leave are in the minority of those seeking abortions. 
...