Dust in the wind
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2007
Updated: Monday, April 19, 2010 00:04
Being a very independently minded state, New Hampshire has traditionally allowed many personal freedoms. However, even here minors have far fewer rights than legal adults, as they should. Unfortunately, at the same time, they can have an abortion at will. This strikes me as a violation of society's standards regarding the legal rights of minors.
Last week, according to the February 16 online edition of the Union Leader, "the House Judiciary Committee voted 12-5 yesterday in favor of repealing the state's parental notification law." Governor John Lynch has taken a stand in favor of this, in a very rare show of intestinal fortitude. Unfortunately, with Democrats currently in charge this change is more likely than it has ever been before.
The bill was originally challenged up to the Supreme Court, where during "Ayotte, Kelly (New Hampshire Atty. Gen.) v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, et al," the bill was ruled to not have enough of a medical exception for the life of the mother. It was sent back to New Hampshire for revisions, something that both sides considered partial victory.
There are two reasons I am against this bill's repeal: my opinion on legal abortions, which is that they should be nonexistent and that allowing minors to abort children is a violation of general standards of minor rights. I do not intend to argue the former point, since it is beating a dead horse. Instead, I will primarily concentrate on less-argued points.
For example, society lets minors be independent in very few avenues. Tattoos, drinking, smoking, renting/owning cars and owning guns are taboo. Governor Lynch, an aforementioned opponent of parental notification, wants to raise the high school dropout age to 18, preventing even more young people from having independence. Why are we willing to let girls have an abortion when they can't even have a Budweiser?
Contradictly, this bill's main point is that a parent's permission is not required. According to the New Hampshire online version of Gencourt, a website run by the state government, the only requirement is to notify the parent 48 hours before the abortion is committed. This is not intended to have permission from, blessings of, or agreement by the parents of the young lady wishing to have the abortion. All it does is let them know what their child is doing. This should always be the right of a parent, with a natural exception of those our due process deems incompetent as a legal guardian/parent.
Lastly, a February 2 article in the online edition of The Concord Monitor said that, "Supporters of the law intentionally left out the language, believing the medical exception would be abused." Personally, I agree with this argument. While I do feel bad for those who that abortion is the best or only way out, especially a minor, too many people have abused the system. A medical exception was supposed to be safe, rare and legal in the original 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, and we see how that turned out (1.5 million abortions a year is hardly rare…).