But the other side is powerful and has lots of money to spend, so sometimes cold hard logic just isn't enough. That's why Alaskans for Parental Rights has shared some more personal stories from families impacted by the lack of a parental notice law in that state.
The most heartbreaking is the story of a grandmother named Anna. Her daughter Jane told her about the pregnancy, and together they excitedly prepared for the child's birth. But the baby's father felt differently, and bribed the vulnerable 17-year-old into killing the baby:
Then came the boyfriend’s “speech.”[Update: Jill Stanek solicits your advice for a woman in a similar situation.] I also thought the testimony from pro-life clinic volunteers was enlightening:
It began with, “Don't tell your family,” explained Anna, who with Jane, later found the boyfriend’s highly crafted, typewritten draft.
“Here is the need for parental notification,” Anna stressed. “Manipulative boyfriend. ‘Don't tell.’”
“Isn't that what every abuser does to his victim — gets them into a ‘Don't tell’ situation?’” Anna observed.
She said the boyfriend went on to warn Jane that if she had the baby, he'd lose out on medical school and they'd end up poor in a trailer. He urged her to abort for the sake of “our children” — the children planned for later.
Anna said her daughter resisted, still insisting that she could have her baby.
Across the next weeks, the boyfriend began acting despondent. Finally, he told Jane she had two weeks to get an abortion or he would kill himself, Anna recalled.
“I finally said, ‘OK,’” Jane later explained to her mother. “I didn't say, ‘Yes.’”
The boyfriend flew Jane to Seattle, where Alaska abortion clinics often refer late-term pregnant mothers. As with Alaska, Washington does not require abortion practitioners to notify a minor girl’s parent before performing an abortion on her.
The day of the secret abortion, Jane was 17 years old. Her unborn baby daughter was heading into her sixth month.
Parental notification opponents — like Planned Parenthood of Anchorage, an affiliate of the nation’s billion-dollar abortion operation — argue that parental involvement laws wrongly “mandate” communication between parent and child and put girls in abusive situations at risk.Additional testimonials can be found on the Yes on 2 campaign website. If you have a parental notice story to share, I encourage you to contact Alaskans for Parental Rights.
Heidi Navarro disagrees. She is the client services director at CPC of Anchorage – a pregnancy help center that provides free pregnancy tests, counseling, parenting classes, material support, STD testing and ultrasounds to women and girls in crisis. The CPC sees about a thousand clients a year. In 2009, 172 girls, ages 15-19, came to the CPC for help – and 7 under the age of 15.
Navarro estimates about a third of those girls don't have good relationships with their parents and some of them are “couch-surfing” between friends’ houses.
Navarro believes a parental notification law would help open the lines of communication to parents – and the lack of a law only keeps those girls isolated.
I leave you with my favorite political cartoons on the issue, both by Glenn McCoy of the Belleville News-Democrat.