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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Responsibilities of Parenthood

Darin Peterson
State Senator, District 24

I am the Senate sponsor of a bill that would require parental notification and consent before a minor can receive an abortion.

Decisions of this magnitude need to be made by people who have the child’s best interest at heart. Families - parents counseling with their children in living rooms- should make the decision, not administrators and doctors in clinic waiting rooms.

This state has always been clear that there are certain things you can’t do as a minor, such as smoking or drinking. Most medical procedures – and even body piercing - require parental consent if you are a minor. Choosing an abortion is a significant life-altering decision. I don’t believe children should be making that choice without their parents’ consent.

Utahhas always looked out for its children - I want to make sure that continues.


Blogger Kevin said...

The idea of parental consent sounds okay for most families. I've met several Utah girls who've had extremely scary parents (including girls who chose to kill themselves than return to their parents).

Imagine a case where dear sweet daddy is also the daddy. A girl in such a situation is in a nightmare where she needs to get away from the family. She needs people to turn to ... but not her parents. Imagine a girl running away from Warren Jeffs ... getting parental consent would be akin to a life sentence of absolute subjugation.

Parental conset laws should have some sort of dysfunctional family escape clause.

1/11/2006 9:33 PM  
Blogger steve u. said...


You raise important points. As I read the bill, I believe it addresses the situations you raise. I'd be interested to know if you disagree.

1/12/2006 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that every good idea needs to be put in statute?

Why can't you leave families alone?

If you really want to be family friendly, give us better schools and affordable heathcare.

I think I SCREAM for MOST Utahn when I say that.

Thank you

1/12/2006 2:29 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

The law has a good start in providing a court order can overturn the need for consent.

Does this law affect the use of morning after pills, or does it only apply to surgical abortion?

I am not clear on what happens when the women lives in situations where she fears reprisals from her family. Does the girl have to prove in court that she was abused or would judges be able to determine that the women has sufficient reason to fear abuse without having to prove it?

When the parents fail to give consent is there any recourse for the girl, or is her father's say absolute? It seems to me that if a girl is still wanting an abortion after her parents have refused consent, that she has thought the issue through and is quite serious in her resolve.

I like that your bill prefers life over abortion, and I like the fact that the law is making a positive statement against abortion. For that matter, I think the statement against abortion is the most important thing in the bill.

I always worry that, when government become overly intrusive in family and personal lives, our well intended laws will end up driving wedges between people and create an atmosphere of fear.

IMHO, the goal would be laws that make a clear statement against abortion, but an adminstrative system that errs on the side of the woman who are in bad situations.

1/12/2006 4:59 PM  
Blogger Nephi said...

I am proud that this bill from Utah will be among the first for Roberts and Alito to examine ... I hope they fool us all and shove it back down our collective throats for failing muster under the Constitution.

1/16/2006 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see anything in the bill that acknowledges the special circumstances which might be present due to the minor's culture milieu.

For example, what if a minor wanted an abortion but came from a family that believed in honor killing or permanent physical punishment when a female was in such a circumstance?

There ought to be judicial bypass because requiring notification could have disastrous consequences.

1/19/2006 12:57 AM  

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