The Power to Decide

There are many important and controversial issues — complex legal, medical, ethical, moral, and religious — surrounding abortion. There are strong, well-founded positions on both sides that arise from considerable deliberation and debate. However, with respect to a girl who has not yet reached the age of majority, it is the opinion of many Liberals and certainly of the Left-wing of the Democratic Party, that she is capable of reaching a considered decision with respect to obtaining an abortion without the involvement of her parents. The Left believes that a girl with an inconvenient pregnancy can reach a measured decision about an abortion without her parents consent and without even their notification.

Now there are extremely abusive situations, for example, where a pregnancy may be the result of incest, when notification might lead to further abuse. There might be emergency medical situations where parental notification would be impractical. Laws attempting to institute a protocol for parental notification, invariably include exceptions for such extreme situations.

No, the Liberal embrace of abortion is so fierce they are willing to allow young girls to make difficult decisions with out the aid and comfort of their families. After all, they might reach a decision the Left would not prefer. Do you think the Left would be concerned about parental notification, if parents inevitably encouraged reluctant underage girls to have abortions? In such cases, they would make notification mandatory.

Now compare this situation with the rhetoric of the Left concerning the Iraq War. Actor Richard Dreyfuss recently commented that, “No one should come for my son and tell my son to go and kill someone or put himself in harm’s way unless I understand and agree to the need.”

Part of the incongruity of this statement is associated with the fact that many members of the feeble and aging Left seemed trapped in a time warp. Within the confines of this temporal hiccup, people re-live 1968 over and over again in an endless loop, when young men were drafted for war. We are now protected by an army of highly-motivated volunteers and the Left just has not been able to understand it. They reflexively act as if there were a draft.

How can the Left on one hand argue that underage girls can make momentous decisions with regard to abortion without their parents’ consent or even knowledge, while at the same time asserting that young men and woman over 18 do not make reasoned decisions with regard to military service? Cindy Sheehan’s son, who has attracted so much controversy re-enlisted at age 24 in October 2003, when weapons of mass destruction had not been found and the reconstruction of Iraq was clearly going to be bloody. Cindy Sheehan herself did not trust her son’s judgment. According to Cindy Sheehan, Casey “felt that he had to go to protect his buddies, to be there for his buddies, to be support, and they are brainwashed into thinking that even if they don’t agree with the mission, they’re brainwashed into just blindly following it.”

Who understands the workings of Cindy Sheehan’s mind? I prefer to believe she is confused by grief. I also prefer to believe that her son, the 24-year old Casey Sheehan, was capable of making heroic decision to “protect his buddies” out of uncommon love, not brainwashing. Does it do Casey Sheehan more personal honor to suggest that he acted out of valor or because he was brainwashed?

Perhaps the Left can learn to trust the independence and judgment of young men and women older than 18 and sometimes many years older as much as they trust the judgment of frightened 14-year old girls.

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