If you are a media junkie like me, you know that presidential election coverage is seemingly inescapable. Even guilty pleasures like Perez Hilton have articles on Sarah Palin and Julia Allison’s coverage of Fashion Week took on an election theme. However, amid the presidential election brouhaha, local measures on November’s ballot are in danger of being overlooked.
Proposition 4 is the latest attempt of anti-choice advocates to restrict abortion access in
The issue of parents’ rights was a hotly debated issue when I spent Sunday afternoon phone banking for the No on Prop 4 Campaign. During the phone bank I called registered voters (all of whom are over 18 and therefore unaffected by the law) and told them why Proposition 4 is bad policy. The script phone bankers (including myself) read to voters acknowledged parents’ rightful desire to what to know what is going on with their teenagers' health but encouraged voters to think outside of their family (where presumably communication is great) and vote on behalf of vulnerable teenagers who could not go to their parents in case of an unplanned pregnancy for fear of violence.
Phone call after phone call, I got responses from voters who are also parents stating that parents are required by law to consent to their child’s healthcare in other instances and asking abortion should be different. My favorite anecdote came from a couple who were clearly anti-choice in which they informed me that parents are required to consent to a tattoo so obviously they should be required in cases of an abortion. I bit my tongue, but I wish I had responded – “Yes but the decision to get a tattoo is incomparable to an abortion. An unwanted pregnancy results in a child. The results of getting a tattoo is having a tattoo. No one is responsible for feeding the tattoo or for its well-being for a lifetime to come.”
Concerned about the claim that parents have a right to consent for their child’s healthcare, I did some research. The results were surprising. Parents are not necessarily required to consent to healthcare of a child. In fact, if a pregnant teen wants to get PRENATAL care in