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Proposition 4 protects rape victims

Posted Oct. 17, 2008

Jennifer Kitzmann
LV Life Editor

Proposition 4 is not just about minors getting abortions without parental notification, it is also about the rape victims who get them.

A minor cannot go on a school field trip without parental permission, yet a stranger can take a girl from school for an abortion without a parent knowing.

Proposition 4 is mainly about Sarah’s Law and the compelling evidence of under age rape victims as young as 13 asking for abortions. It was reported that 73 Planned Parenthood and 19 other abortion centers have had similar cases.

Statutory rape, a crime in California, requires a report to law enforcement agencies or Child Protective Services. In case after case, Planned Parenthood locations staff told teenage victims that they would not notify their parents or authorities.

Proposition 4 will require a doctor to notify at least one adult family member before performing abortions on minors. This can be an aunt, grandmother, cousin or someone in the family who will help a young girl in this predicament.

More than 30 states currently have parental/family involvement laws like Proposition 4 in effect. States, which have laws like Proposition 4, have experienced reductions in pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among young girls.

Parents are currently required to be involved in all major decisions, including medical decisions, of their child except for abortion.

The question is whether the parents of these young girls would harm their child after being notified by the abortion clinic.

Some families not blessed with having two parents in the home, religion or sexual education that they need in avoiding ever having an abortion.

There are going to be harsh consequences for some teens, if this bill passes. Perhaps we will have to take a closer look at this. Maybe this proposition is not for everyone.

If the proposition passes, maybe there should be a separate law attached to Sarah’s Law. If anything should happen to the minor after the parents or family member is notified, they would have to abide by the law that forbid them to act out against the minor.

I do not believe the individual problems of our personal independent lives should be mingled with the church or state in many cases.

However, in such circumstances that involve minors, my thinking is different.

I understand a young girl wanting to hide an unwanted pregnancy from her parents. If you are 18 or even younger, and you crashed your car, you cannot just walk away. Not reporting it would be considered a crime.

We urgently need to protect young girls from sexual exploitation that is covered up by secret abortions performed without parents’ knowledge.

I think that it is obviously safer if a parent or guardian is aware of their child having an abortion. The thought of a minor having to go through something like this or make a decision like this alone, is heartbreaking.

In this, then, everyone needs to care a little less about himself or herself and think about the victims. No matter what your view is on this matter it is important to take a closer look how you vote on this and other propositions.

Jennifer Kitzmann, a senior journalism major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at jennifer.kitzmann@laverne.edu.