Editor, Daily Nexus,
What do single parents, the gay community, proponents of first amendment rights and supporters of Planned Parenthood all have in common? The answer is that each group, at one time or another, has served as an unwarranted target for the Christian Coalition. This so-called coalition of “Christians,” this organization of self-righteous, salvation preaching and condemnation proclaiming, evangelical right-wing lobbyists, are at it again, now aiming their religiously motivated politics at young, pregnant teens.
The Christian Coalition of America, in cahoots with fellow conservative endorsers and sponsors that include Bill O’Reilly, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and – of course – Pat Robertson, are attempting to pass Proposition 85, a reworded version of last November’s defeated Proposition 73, mandating parental notification for minors seeking an abortion in California.
At the surface level, Prop 85 understandably may seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, in the real world, not every pregnant, frightened minor can speak openly about sensitive reproductive issues with her parents, especially if her home life happens to be a violent or abusive one. In such situations, rather than risk the dangerous consequences notification would incur, young women might seek alternative means of ending a pregnancy, such as fleeing the state or self-induced abortions.
Not only would Prop 85 hurt some of the state’s most vulnerable and at risk teens, but it also indirectly chips away at the privacy and reproductive rights Roe v. Wade established almost 35 years ago. Rather than seeking to create a stronger bond and dialogue between teens and their parents, the backers of this consent law and the Christian Coalition have a more ambitious and harrowing goal of reversing choice laws as a whole.
Lastly, one of the strongest reasons for opposing Prop 85 is the fact that abortions among adolescents has been on the decline nationally for over 10 years. Specifically, the pregnancy rate for 15 to 17 year olds had dropped over 30 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics – a figure that renders the entire premise of the proposed law as faulty as well as unnecessary.
All in all, if voters hope to oppose the agenda of Bible-thumpers like the Christian Coalition and other anti-choice backers of Prop 85, solidify the continued protection of teen safety in California by voting no on November 7th.