October 9, 2008

Shut it, Scarborough.

Last night I forced myself to sit through Joe Scarborough rant and rave for 45 minutes about the media exposing, reporting, and discussing the pregnancy of Sarah Palin's 17-year old daughter. Again, Joe Scarborough just discussed for almost an hour how awful it is that the media is discussing the pregnancy of Sarah Palin's daughter. That should be all the needs to be said. Alas...

Is anyone actually suggesting that we were supposed to go about our business pretending we didn't see the vice-presidential candidate's teenage daughter growing ever more pregnant without ever saying a word about it?

Let me be clear: If Sarah Palin were not an anti-choice, anti-sex education moralist, I would have absolutely nothing to say about this issue. Sarah Palin IS those things. Her position on sex education may well have derailed her daughter's life by making her ignorant to sexual consequences.

Scarborough and others like him are appalled - APPALLED, I tell you! - that this is being covered at all, that it has been "splashed all over the front page of the New York Times," declaring a double standard." "The media didn't do this to Chelsea Clinton," Scarborough argued. But Joe, Chelsea Clinton didn't get herself knocked up. If she did, she clearly made the decision to do that which is still legal in this country.

For the third time since 2005, Californians will vote on whether to restrict a minor's right to an abortion. Proposition 4 follows the basic approach of its predecessors: A doctor would be required to notify a minor's parents at least 48 hours before performing an abortion.

More than a decade ago, the California Supreme Court clearly affirmed that a young woman's right to an abortion was protected by the state constitution's strong privacy rights. Proposition 4 represents yet another attempt to undermine that right.

In theory, application of this measure would put many young women at risk by delaying abortion procedures, and thus creating unnecessary medical complications.

Prop 4 supporters claim the best of motives: promotion of family communication and prevention of teen pregnancies. I think everyone agrees, and shares those goals, but I inherently disagree on the methods to achieving them.

Family communication cannot be forced by government edict, and irresponsible teenage behavior will not be deterred by making abortion more difficult. Unplanned pregnancies occur most often because young people are either ignorant of the consequences - or oblivious to them. Prop 4 proposes nothing to change that.

This proposition purports to prevent teen pregnancy and enact family communication when in fact it does none of that. To prevent teen pregnancy, you need comprehensive sex education.

Desperate teens will do desperate things - e.g. medically dangerous abortions, or avoiding medical care all together.

For me it's simple really. Is your need to know, more important than a teenager's life?

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