Thursday, June 12, 2008

When is a child an adult?

Okay...sometimes people act in a way that completely befuddles me. I get morning updates from our Atlanta paper by email, and this is the title of an article in today's paper:

Woman pretended to be mom of girl who got abortion, say officials got my attention, so I followed the link and read the article. You can do the same by clicking on the article name above.

I'm amazed at the article and how one woman could choose to take into her hands the fates of so many people. She affected the lives of her son, his girlfriend, their unborn child, her own, the girlfriend's parents. Perhaps it's a bit pollyanna to expect that she could have gotten together with the girl's parents and talked the situation through. But no...she takes the girl to an abortion clinic to terminate the pregnancy. I'm outraged at the behavior of the parents...I'm also outraged that the girl didn't feel like she could talk to her own parents about the situation.

What bothers me more are the comments from the readers that follow the article. One commenter says that the parental consent laws violate the rights of the potential parents. Excuse me! The potential parents in this case are 16 years old. They're children! I'm sorry, but in my mind, a 16 year old is unable to truly think through all the possible affects that a decision like this will have on their lives. The see the immediate relief that terminating pregnancy will bring, but do not foresee the sleepless nights and the pain and the lingering guilt that will come. This girl has been irrepairably damaged, physically and emotionally because someone was too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves.

I am not a fan of bigger government, personally I believe that we have too many laws governing too many things - HOWEVER, we have to protect our children. Giving a child free reign over their body is socially irresponsible. A child lacks the life experience necessary to completely understand the impact of their decision on their present and more importantly their future.

Another commenter says that "abortion is not murder, fetuses are not babies...". I can't tell you how my stomach turns over a comment like this. It makes me sad, my heart hurts for this person. Clinics will usually perform an abortion up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at an ultrasound of a baby of that gestation and see the facial features, arms, legs, heartbeat.

I do hope that there is no relaxation of the parental notification laws, though. Children under the age of 18 years may feel like their emotionally able to handle sex - but I guarantee you that none of them are emotionally able to handle the after effects of terminating a pregnancy by themselves.

What do you guys think? Have a differing opinion? Let me hear it!


Christine said...

You hear about these cases from time to time. I agree with you. Horrific

And as the mother of teen sons, well, I know that I only have Influence. I cannot imagine taking my son's girlfriend to the doctor to get birth control, let alone an abortion. Good god.

Ok, Where Was I? said...

Yeah, that's a tough one. I'm anti-big govt like you, but I also, like you, don't feel right about a kid being able to go in there without a parent.

Your comment made me laugh:
a new type of feral/stray/hillbilly/woodland dwelling variety
The best description!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Until my kiddos are 18 (one already is) I want to be legally responsible for these types of decisions. After 18, I just turn it over to God an hope for the best.

Shooter has a 14/15 foot?


Hallie :)

Di said...

she was totally thinking of herself and her son and their future. If they break up, will she have any lingering guilt...probably not and will they break up, probably so.

It should of been her and the sons descision and her Mom/Dad (or both) should of taken her. I can understand the fear of talking to your parents about something like this and the ease of going to a friend (or boyfriends) Mom to talk.

I can see her talking this over with the Mom, them deciding about an abortion and the Mom offering to take her since I'm sure she expressed the sheer terror of telling her own Mom.

Abortion is a legal choice and I think it should stay that way. My personal view, it's a choice right for some and not for others in some situations and not all. There needs to be a better way of checking the identity of those under 18 and the people coming in with them representing the parent.

Children are minors until they turn 18 for a reason. Even once you are 18 you are not wquiped to make peoper descisions and that's why kids seem to get into so much trouble. It's a learning curve we all go through. 16 is not an appropriate age to decide that alone.

whitney said...

It depends.

On the kid, the parent, the situation, and what exactly is going on.

Would I let my kids at 16 have sex? Probably wouldn't be thrilled about the idea, but I'd rather make sure they were safe than not... sneaking around, in my opinion is worse- not to mention more dangerous.

As for abortion... sticky topic. I don't condone it, I don't support it, but I do think it's the WOMAN'S choice. If a girl doesn't have the balls to talk to her parents about what has happened, then she needs someone (hopefully) more responsible to step in for her. Had she not been so scared/ashamed/whatever and spoken with her parents (in a non-teenager/drama queen kinda way)... then I think the decision should have been hers and hers alone.

countrymouse said...

AMEN Sister!

Tara said...

I have a friend who had an abortion at a similar age without her parents' permission. She continued on with her life like everything was perfect, but the guilt of the abortion was always there. In college, she turned to binge drinking and bulimia to forget about her past. When she hit rock bottom, she went to rehab and told her parents about the abortion. They were able to support her healing and help her move on with her life.

When she found out she was pregnant, she was afraid of what her parents would say, what others would think, and how it would affect her future. These fears caused her to get an abortion. If she had talked to her parents, they could have provided guidance, direction, and support regarding this big decision. She was just too young to realize the long-term impact on her life.

Laura B. said...

Christine - yeah, I just don't understand some people.

Sarah - them buggers are cute but multiplying like rabbits back there. ;-)

Hallie - I'm with ya, girl. And yes, it takes two cows to make Shooters work boots. Unbelievable!

Di - I guess my concern is more over the parental notification part of the law. There has to be more verification from the facilities doing these procedures. It's sad something like this had to happen.

Whit - It's a hard one, eh?

CountryMouse - Thanks for stopping by!

Tara - I think people generally underestimate the power of the parent in this situation. They may be initially upset, but come around to do what's best for everyone. Communication is key!

Bogart in P Towne said...

The bounds of selfishness never ceases to amaze me.

Nissa said...

I agree. That's absolutely horrible.

I haven't even touched today's paper, but will go check out the full article!

I am pro-choice, but think there is a legal age for a reason! Otherwise many teens out there would just use abortion as a means of birth control. They're too young to make that kind of decision alone. They're also too young to be having sex, but let's face it; we can't stop them all.

Vanessa said...

I think the societal pressure is to force kids to grow up faster than they are ready. I think this is sad and the time that should be spent being a kid and learning things like how to be social is lost at huge emotional cost.