Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Parental consent laws

There's a vote in California at the moment about forcing teenage girls to inform their parents before they are allowed to have an abortion. A lot of people imagine that parents of teenage girls will automatically support this amendment. But I am the mother of a girl of that age, and I think legal interference in parent/child communications is a very bad idea.

Of course if something dreadful happened to my daughter and she became pregnant I would want to know. But that wish means I have had to work all her life to build communications, to treat her with respect, and to make her feel safe with me and her father, no matter what happens to her. Some parents haven't done this work, they make brutal and ignorant comments to their children about sex and morality, or they are too severe, or too prissy. Their children might be frightened of them. So do these parents, whose children don't speak to them, have the right to invoke the law; to force their daughters to talk to them? Surely not.

And it goes further than that. Because lazily turning to the law to do your family work for you affects every pregnant child in the community - girls whose father will beat them and kill them, girls whose fathers rape them, girls whose alcoholic mothers have left them in charge of their brothers and sisters, girls whose parents prostitute them - all of these tragic girls will be forced to confide in the very people who are the source of their misery and terror. How bad is this? I would oppose this law most strongly if it came to this country.

More discussion here

"...those in successful families, who don't need the law anyway, ought to
give up the legal affirmation of our family structure as the sacrifice we
make to those who have been failed by the social structure that has served us
  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic