Wednesday, October 12, 2005

California and Choice

California does a lot of things right. Pretty progressive and liberal in a lot of areas. The face of what the rest of the U.S. will look like in a few years. The hub of creativity. And shapes what we see, listen to, like, and wear in terms of culture and trends. California is a nice place to be.

Of course no place is perfect. It's difficult to buy a home in California because of soaring real estate costs. There is a huge gap between the rich and poor. And many people think Californians are too creative... and just way off the map.

Yesterday, I attended a program/speaker talking about Proposition 73 in California, on the special election called by our governator, which would require both parental consent and permission for young women (under 18) choosing to end a pregnancy.

I learned a lot. I learned about how once Roe v. Wade was upheld, that the shape of women's personal and professional advancement just took an upswing. More and more women entered professions, could take control of their lives, and could make the decisions that worked best for their mental and physical health. I learned how difficult it is becoming for women to seek out all choices, because from all levels -- from medical schools to hospitals to neighborhood clinics to peer-counseling services -- women's rights to make the choices they see best for themselves are under attack.

Anyway, the speaker really helped put us in the mindset of being a teenager again. And made us think a lot about what we did, could, and would NOT talk to our parents about... for a number of reasons -- embarassment, family dysfunction, uncommunicative family, etc...-- and I realized that these parental consent laws are trying to force communication, when in many cases, the communication was never there.

And then I realized that this proposition, which is sponsored by some California Catholic organization and Dominos Pizza, just doesn't fit with the progressive nature of California. I'll have to ask the priest of my parish his take on parental consent. He's generally progressive and very open-minded on politics and personal issues. But the red-state mentality is really trying to get a stronghold in the state. Interesting. I'll be voting NO on the proposition for a number of reasons. I believe women, and only women, can make the decisions they see fit for themselves physically and mentally.

But I'm wondering, dear readers, what your take is on parental consent laws, reproductive freedom, and the right to choose what's best for yourself physically or mentally?


quincee said...

As my day job brings me into contact with teenagers, especially teens who aren't on the receiving end of very good parenting, I have many reservations about any laws that give parents absolute power or veto power when it comes to something as personal as childbrearing. What lawmakers are missing is the fact that many parents are BAD parents and can't be trusted to make a decision that is "in the best interest of the child."
And, thanks for visiting my blog.

~^^~L*C~^^~ said...

I think it depends on the maturity level of the individual and the relationship between the parents. If the parents don't care enough to sit down and talk to their daughter about reproduction, then they should not have any say in whether she gets an abortion or not. It's one of those scenarios where all I can say is IT DEPENDS.
I do love California for the liberation etc.

Avowed_Southern_Democrat said...

I never cease to be amazed at some of the right wing rhetoric that finds fertile soil in California. The Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Courts of Appeals is one of if not the most liberal in the country, and yet the state tends to swing quixotically from left to right and back with occasional quirky stops. As regards to Roe vs. Wade, I vividly remember seeing the consequences for poor women who were unable to afford to travel and find abortion care outside of the U. S. Back alley and home performed abortions left poor women mutilated and emotionally scared. We cannot afford to return to so primitive a civilization. Roe vs. Wade should be as settled a case as Brown et al vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, KS. As much as I oppose the electoral college, propositions voted into law by Californian sometimes make me leery of government by direct popular votes. If California is going to continue in the red state column, we can send Jesse Helms to represent you in Congress. Shem hotep!