Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Criminalize bad parenting

Now that the House and Senate have agreed to criminalize women's control over their reproductive rights by even limiting their right to cross state lines, next on the agenda is legislation to cut off the nads of men who have sex out of wedlock, or who can't demonstrate the financial ability to raise a child.

Oh? You say that'll never happen? And why not? If we're going to legislate how and when women choose to have a baby, then why not men as well?

Oh, that's right ... I keep forgetting. MEN, not women, control all three branches of government.

The point is, I've never thought that men should have any say in abortion legislation. Men simply cannot know what it means to bear a child, and as such, shouldn't have any say in what a woman chooses to do.

Having said that -- and really loathing the fact that I feel compelled by digust to enter into a policy discussion that offers absolutely zero perfect solutions -- I should state for the record that I emphatically abhor the idea of abortion. That's really not what the debate is about.

Instead, the debate should focus on ways to reduce abortion. Making them illegal will only make abortion unsafe, criminalize women who try to exercise control over their bodies, and lead down a slippery slope we've already witnessed where women not only can't have an abortion, but also have their options for pregnancy prevention limited.

Criminalizing abortion only makes more criminals. What we need are a set of policy instruments to educate men and women about the meaning of love, sex, and how to engage in both when appropriate, and safely.

Bill Clinton de-criminalized abortion, choosing instead to make abortion "safe, legal, and rare," and succeeded in reducing unwanted pregnancies. The CDC reported:

From 1990 through 1997, the number of legal induced abortions gradually declined. In 1998 and 1999, the number of abortions continued to decrease when comparing the same 48 reporting areas. In 2000, even with one additional reporting state, the number of abortions declined slightly.

Why would a teenager go to another state to get an abortion? Not because it's illegal in her state of residence! Abortion is still legal in every state, but almost every state requires parental notification or consent, so only girls who fear their parents will try to get an abortion somewhere else -- girls whose father's molest them, whose parents physically or mentally abuse them, whose parents don't foster loving and productive communication.

Which gets me to the point of this post. In the end, if we're going to throw girls in jail who try to go to a state where they can have a safe and legal abortion, let's also create criminal penalties for bad parenting!

Of course, that'll never happen under a Republican one-party state, because in the fantasy Republican world, it's 1950, and if you put the blinders on, drink the kool-aid, let your preacher fill your heart with fear and anger, and medicate yourself enough with sedatives or alcohol, you can convince yourself that every family is headed by Ward and June Cleaver.

Let's get those freaking bastards out of Congress this fall! Then we'll take back the White House in 2008.

Tags: Bush is a moron | Impeach Bush | George W Bush | Worst President Ever | Congress | Worst Congress Ever | Republicans | Republicans Suck


At 7/26/2006 08:01:00 AM, Blogger TravelingMermaid said...

Like you, I abhor abortion. But there's something fundamentally wrong with a government dictating such a personal, basic issue. I feel like the rights women fought so hard for in the 60's and 70's are being systematically eroded.

At 7/26/2006 01:35:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Yep. The right to choose means exactly that. People who don't like it better start adopting like crazy, and that means black kids as well (although the predominant number of of abortions are white teenagers -- poor black teenagers can't afford them).

At 7/26/2006 03:22:00 PM, Blogger Roux said...

Just a question. Would you want your daughter to have any operation without your consent or notification?

At 7/26/2006 03:32:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

That's a dumb question, Roux, to which I will answer with this question: Does your daughter trust you enough to tell you when she's made a mistake? And another: Do you abuse your daughter?

No offense, but if a girl is sexually abused by a family member, especially her father, there isn't a reason in hell she should have to get consent. What if she's raped and becomes pregnant, doesn't want to carry the pregnancy to term, but her parents are opposed to abortion?

If I had a daughter who was having sex and I didn't know about it, I'd have to say (even if I don't like it) that she's old enough to make her own decisions about her body, and whatever else she wants to do with her life. It's no longer in my control at that point, and the best I can do is to try to love her, guide her decisions to look out for her best interests, and to help her if I can.

At 7/27/2006 07:52:00 AM, Blogger Roux said...

Yes I love both of my daughters but there are other options.

A teacher, school guidence office, friends or other relatives. There are other people around that can help children when they are in trouble. We are talking about children under the age of 18. I would assume you'd let them have no guidence from any source.

At 7/27/2006 08:26:00 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Kids can get, and need, guidance from many people so they can evaluate their options and understand all the nuances and consequences of their choices before they do things that might not be in their best interests. Sure! No kidding.

But everyone makes mistakes, and some people make criminal mistakes that hurt teenage girls. What this legislation makes illegal is precisely the thing that you're advocating -- allowing other responsible members of the community to help guide and support young pregnant women who decide that getting an abortion *is their right*, and *is the right choice* for them.

Now (once dipshit Bush signs this legislation), a priest or a counselor who decides to support a girl's decision to go to another state for an abortion (because she can't get the support of her parents, or feels threatened by them), will be committing a federal offense punishable with jail time.

We need the government to stay out of people's personal reproductive decisions.


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