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Parents have a right to know about abortion

The Enterprise | May 2, 2005

AT its heart, abortion is a medical procedure. So we never understood how people could defend the "right" of a 14-year-old girl to have an abortion without her parents' knowledge or, worse, why people were allowed to take these children to another state to have an abortion to avoid parental-consent laws.

Congress may finally do something about this. For the third time in 17 years, the House has passed a bill that would make it illegal for anyone to take a child to another state for an abortion without parental consent. The Senate has never voted on the bill, but appears set to vote on it this summer, reflecting growing public support for involving parents in decisions about their daughters' pregnancies.

That is how it should always have been. People would never approve of a girl being taken to another state for another other kind of surgery, so why abortion? The answer is simple abortion-rights activists have conned people into thinking that abortion is "different," that every pregnant female, no matter how young, has the ability and right to make medical decisions without involving parents.

That is absurd on its face. What these activists really fear is that this is one way of restricting abortion "rights." And they don't want to lose an inch of ground in this fight even at the expense of families. If young teens have to go behind their parents' back for surgery, then so be it, they argue.

The tide of opposition to abortion is rising and there is a sense in this country that young girls, especially, need parental involvement is such serious decisions. U.S. Rep. William Clay, D-Mo., who previously opposed these bills, voted for it this time and said, "The bill simply says that a parent has a right to know if their child is having surgery."

It really is that simple, yet 157 House members, nearly all Democrats, voted against the bill. Why? Partly because they fear the wrath of the abortion-rights activists who will make their re-election campaigns miserable and partly because they have no respect for families.

It is tragic when any young teenager becomes pregnant. That problem is compounded when her parents are cut out of the loop and encouraged by self-serving activists who care more about their "cause" than about the health of the girl and the concern of her family.

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