Today, Californians will have the opportunity to vote in favor of Prop. 73, no-brainer legislation that would require parental notification for minor girls who choose an abortion.
Despite the fact that parents generally have the best interests of their children in mind and they are legally liable for any costs or complications resulting from their minor daughter’s abortion, the state of California does not require them to be notified. Yet, the state requires not only parental notification but parental consent for a minor age 14 to 18 to use a tanning bed. A minor under the age of 14 cannot use a tanning bed under any circumstance, but she can have an abortion without telling her parents.
Diana Lopez received a call on July 30, 2004 from her 13-year old daughter’s school that she had been taken to the hospital because she was bleeding. As it turns out, her daughter’s boyfriend’s mother took the child to an abortion clinic in downtown San Diego. By the time Diana reached the clinic, the clinic staff would not allow her to see or be with her own daughter. In fact, the clinic threatened to call the police.
Bill and Georganne, each parents of 15-year old daughters who’d had abortions, found out well after the procedures. But they got to pick up the pieces. Each called into the Roger Hedgecock radio talk show in San Diego to tell their experiences. Georganne’s daughter became an alcoholic shortly after she had an abortion without telling her parents. Five years later, alcoholism claimed her life.
Bill found out about his daughter’s abortion when he came home and found that she’d overdosed in an attempt to commit suicide. Fortunately, he was able to get her to the hospital in time to save her. The father of her baby was her 33-year old karate instructor who had threatened her if she told anyone about her pregnancy and subsequent abortion.
Parents have a right to know when their children are undergoing a serious medical intervention. In such cases, they usually want to find the best medical attention because they want the best for their child. Not only do they have the right, but state law will hold them responsible for their daughter’s medical care if she has any complications that result from the abortion. The law recognizes the general principle that parents ought to care for their children. But it doesn’t apply it to the specific case of abortion, not even when parents want to protect their children from sexual predators.
A 1995 study published in Lancet surveyed 46,000 pregnancies of minor girls in California. The researchers found that 71 percent – about 33,000 – were fathered by adult men who were an average age of 22.6-years old. The study also revealed that men 25 and older father more children among minor girls than do boys under the age of 18.
Another study published in a 1999 issue of the American Pediatrics journal showed that 74 percent of all girls who were under the age of 14 at first intercourse did not have voluntary intercourse. For girls under age 15, the percentage was 60 percent.
Laws which do not require the bare minimum of parental notification simply enable sexual predators and allow for the abuse of minor girls. These laws also reflect a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to the well-being of girls within the state of California. In other words, it’s easier to keep the problem hidden rather than to deal with the reality that many young girls are involved in sexual relationships that are not only unhealthy, but illegal. As long as the pregnancy doesn’t come to term, we can pretend that everything’s fine.
Over 90 recorded phone calls to Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics in California revealed widespread abuse. When the caller said that she was a minor (as young as 13 or 14) and that she had an adult boyfriend, clinics repeatedly advised her that she needed to cover her story. Not a single clinic referred her to law enforcement even though she was clearly a victim of statutory rape or worse.
Other California professionals, like teachers, are required by law to report even a suspected case of sexual abuse of a minor. But, as evidenced by the calls to abortion clinics, California parents cannot count on abortion medical staff to do the same.
Abortion clinics and advocates may talk about the back-alley days of abortion, but it’s clear from the way they cover up the abuse of pregnant minor girls that they’re really advocating abortion at any cost, whether it causes harm or even death to a young girl. California holds tanning salons to higher standards.