Note: Jackie Anderson is the brand new Communications Director for Students for Life of America
In an age where the idea of parents sending their children outside to play unattended and drinking from the garden hose are archaic representations of how American children spend their time, parents have become more and more involved in the lives of their young ones and the decisions they can and can’t make – or at least they should be.
Video games are branded with ratings that allow parents to cherry pick appropriate levels of exposure. The age at which it seems appropriate to own a cell phone seems to be drastically dropping, so that now it’s not unusual for a parent to receive a phone call from their 7th grader who was forgotten in the carpool line. The advancement of technology over the years and our dependency on all things electronic have played a key role in the differences between a contemporary upbringing and that of yesterday, and certainly has done much to push the limits of what our children are exposed to.
But exactly how far is too far, and what decisions are we willing to allow our children to make themselves?
Thankfully, and despite the ever-growing trend to overexpose younger generations to more and more, there are rules in place for minors to obtain what they wish. Most places require a signature from a parent or guardian when a minor wants to get their ears - or anything else for that matter - pierced. In fact, getting proper consent is required for most things that those under the age of 18 wish to do. I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that during the Age of Information, parents are able to maintain at least a fraction of control over what is appropriate for their children.
What I don’t understand, and what defies even the simplest concept of child protection, is the legality of abortion for minors.
Today, a pregnant minor, confused and oftentimes coerced by family and peers, can easily walk into any abortion provider and receive a life-altering surgery that, more often than not, is extremely detrimental to their health. It’s not news to anyone within the pro-life community that abortion procedures can lead to bleeding and infections, infertility, future miscarriages, blood clots, a perforated uterus, intense pain, and a slew of other physical effects that, on their own, should make the word “abortion” a four-letter word. Why, then, can my 13-year old cousin receive an abortion on demand? Why are we more terrified over whether the piercing gun has been sterilized enough than whether a junior high school-aged student could die on an operating table?
Recently, Connecticut State Sen. Michael McLachlan, (R-Danbury) shared this epiphany after a bill requiring parental approval to allow minors to utilize tanning beds died when it came into conflict with another bill requiring parental approval for abortions. The immediate controversy regarding the apparent lack of concern for the hazards of tanning raised a red flag for the Senator – why are consent forms necessary for everything except an intrinsically dangerous surgery?
To draw a parallel, a minor – that is, someone under the age of 18 – can’t obtain any medical services without the consent of their parent or guardian. That means a doctor can’t remove a splinter from a child’s finger without proper paperwork citing a parent’s signature. Minors can’t vote, get a tattoo or even sell Avon products until becoming a legally recognized adult, and rightly so. Abortion, one of the most radically dangerous procedures the medical field has ever seen, is the exception. Minors can receive birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy tests, and undergo abortion procedures without their parents ever being the wiser. In light of that, how does it look when we worry about what shows our children watch now?
The hearts and minds of those concerned for the well-being of our children need to be changed. A desire to filter what our children are exposed to and what they can and cannot do, at least yet, it a great start, but abortion has become the whipping boy for those too concerned about stepping on the toes of what is politically correct. Abortion leads to the death of children, and in some instances, to more than one. Americans must awaken themselves to the dangers that abortion presents to our society, to our children, and to their lives.