Friday, September 05, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

As governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has a proven track record of bringing about change swiftly. Which is great, so long as you agree with her changes.

From Bristol's Body, Sarah's Choice on Slate.com:
Palin made her position clear last fall, when she denounced and sought to reverse an Alaska Supreme Court ruling that upheld the rights of teenage girls. "It is outrageous that a minor girl can get an abortion without parental consent," said the governor.
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The court affirmed that minors often needed guidance, that parents were entitled to provide that guidance, and that states could facilitate this role by notifying parents whose daughters sought abortions. But the law in question, the Alaska Parental Consent Act, went further.
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The justices concluded that the law "allows parents to refuse to consent not only where their judgment is better informed and considered than that of their daughter, but also where it is colored by personal religious belief, whim, or even hostility to her best interests."
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[Palin] says Bristol will "realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child."
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Palin claims the decision was Bristol's. But had Bristol faced the same predicament a year ago, and had she chosen not to bear the child, her mother would have demanded the right to force that result. As governor, Palin fought for this authority. Two weeks after the Alaska court's 3-2 ruling against her, she replaced one of the justices in the majority. She called for a state constitutional amendment to reverse the ruling. This year, with the court stacked in her favor, she endorsed a bill that would send the court an even tougher parental consent law. She even proposed a special session to pass the bill.
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Watch the video of Palin answering abortion questions during a 2006 gubernatorial debate. "If your daughter were pregnant … what would be your reaction and advice?" asks a reporter. "I would choose life," she answers, smiling. The reporter persists: What if your daughter had been raped? "Again, I would choose life," she replies. Not she would choose. I would choose.
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John McCain is no different. Eight years ago, after initially saying that his daughter, in the event of pregnancy, would make her own decision with parental counsel, McCain corrected himself. It would be "a family decision, not her decision," he told reporters. "Cindy and I will make that decision."
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McCain and Palin want more justices like Samuel Alito, who voted to uphold a law requiring women to notify their husbands before getting abortions. In fact, they want a constitutional amendment to ban nearly all abortions.

The idea of letting minors, even maturing ones, make abortion decisions may sound radical. But that's how autonomy for blacks and women used to sound, too. It's hard to recognize the injustices of your own era. One reason to try is that paternalists may have targeted people like you in the past. The other reason is that if you don't speak up, they'll come for you again.

1 comment:

Bomber said...

Got to love the fact that when you don't like the decision, you just change the people making the decision until they agree with you. That's what democracy is all about....oh wait, no it isn't...hey, even Fidel Castro had his supporters. Then again, with a gun in my face, I'd support just about anyone.