October 2, 2008

Parents Should Be Informed

By Camille Giglio

The only major medical procedure a teenage girl can have without her parents' knowledge is an abortion. A teen cannot go to a tanning salon, get a body piercing or even get an aspirin from the school nurse without her parents being informed. The Contra Costa Times did not tell readers that crucial fact when it editorialized against Prop. 4.

Instead, the Times used oft-told abortion industry suggestions that teenage girls who become pregnant might be abused if they tell their parents. Yet when the examples of abuse showcased by opponents of Prop. 4 were taken to court, they had to admit that they couldn't substantiate any of them. The opponents of Prop. 4 could not come up with a single instance to substantiate their assertions.

The opponents of Prop. 4 use unsubstantiated and exaggerated suggestions of fear as the basis for their campaign. The opposition comes primarily from Planned Parenthood, a nationwide organization that performs abortions. It provides abortions to teenage girls without involving their parents, and it wants to keep it that way. Planned Parenthood has performed abortions on girls as young as 12. It wants to protect its freedom to perform abortions on underage girls without their parents' knowledge, 50 percent of whom are impregnated by adult male predators.

The Times was very wrong to oppose Prop. 4. It is a carefully drafted measure that would put the medical approach to abortion for minors on the same footing as every other serious medical action, beginning with parental involvement. Facing a pregnancy can be the most difficult situation a young girl has ever faced. It is a time when a family needs to come together. Prop. 4 will help foster that coming together.

It provides feasible alternatives for girls who simply cannot talk to their parents. The arguments against Prop. 4 are, in many cases, distorted and even unproven scare tactics -- and that has been verified by the courts of California. Please support Prop. 4 to protect minors who become pregnant in California, as 35 other states have done.

Giglio is a Walnut Creek resident.

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