I don’t usually comment about political things, I stick to science, but in this case the Colorado State Legislature has muddied the waters between human rights and science. As mothers our rights are being challenged and you have a right to know.
Not everyone has the time to look up what’s happening in the Colorado Senate, but here’s a bill that just doesn’t make sense. I have broken it down for you here to think about. It seems contrary to parenting or to common sense as adults and I would question the basis for it at all.
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE DECISION PROTECTION
25-6-401. Legislative declaration.
(1) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACKNOWLEDGES AND REAFFIRMS THAT:
(a) EVERY INDIVIDUAL POSSESSES A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF
8 PRIVACY WITH RESPECT TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE DECISIONS;
So why are we worried about this? We don’t have this now? Please explain why this clause is necessary.
Or is it because we are saying the word “individual” as it applies to all females including those younger than 18, thus implying they have rights independent from their parents? If so, then they could possibly show up for an abortion without their parents knowing it. Is the legislature saying parents have the right to make their kids eat their vegetables and take their vitamins and get them vaccinations to prevent disease, but they don’t have a right to know about a procedure that could render their daughters sterile? (Not to mention the psychological damage proven by science and all the women seeking counseling after such a procedure.) Hmm…not following the logic there.
(b) IN KEEPING WITH THAT RIGHT,
EVERY INDIVIDUAL IS ENTITLED TO MAKE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE DECISIONS FREE FROM DISCRIMINATION,COERCION, OR VIOLENCE;
This sounds good…a young woman shall not be threatened by her boyfriend to have an abortion because he does not want the child. Great. What are the penalties if he does threaten her? What are the definitions of coercion in this case so he can be arrested? Seems incomplete or nebulous at best. So this shouldn’t pass until the bill is complete, or are our legislators getting lazy?
Or is this so that young girls who have had sex with older boys (still considered statutory rape) or worse, coerced to have sex…or raped by an adult…shall not be threatened to have an abortion. Seems to have the parent piece missing again. Do our legislators believe that we as parents don’t have rights to know about the medical happenings with our children? Hmm…I remember this same idea running rampant in history. Any time the state takes control over children and dismisses the rights of parents, they are setting themselves above all others. Not sure that a teacher (Senator Kerr) or a public health nurse (Senator Nicholson) should have more rights than me over my children.
(c) EVERY INDIVIDUAL IS ENTITLED TO MAKE REPRODUCTIVE
HEALTH CARE DECISIONS WITHOUT INTERFERENCE FROM THE STATE;
Uh…did I miss something? When does the state interfere now with my reproductive health decisions? Or are they worried that government will take over those too? Is there something our legislators know that they aren’t sharing? Part C seems incongruent from Part B.
(d) EVERY INDIVIDUAL SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO INFORMATION REGARDING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE THAT IS BASED ON CURRENT EVIDENCE BASED SCIENTIFIC DATA AND MEDICAL CONSENSUS;
Again, am I missing something? Is the state worried that they might take away my right to go to the library, read information on the internet or ask professionals about reproductive health care?
Or are our legislators worried that parents will NOT educate their growing teens about their bodies and reproductive health care issues? Perhaps it’s worse because they feel they have failed in the past. Are they trying to tell us that the previous laws they passed about sex education in the schools are not working? Maybe we should address those issues first.
(e) SECTION 25-6-403
SETS FORTH THE POLICY AND AUTHORITY OF THE STATE,
ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS, AND ALL AGENCIES AND INSTITUTIONS THEREOF
So say you all?
25-6-403. Policy - legislative intent.
(1) THE STATE, ITS AGENCIES, INSTITUTIONS, OR POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS, OR ANY UNIT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT ENACT ANY POLICY THAT DENIES OR
INTERFERES WITH AN INDIVIDUAL'S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE DECISIONS
Again, define the “individual” at hand. If we are speaking about adults, why are we afraid that their rights are being taken away? If we are speaking about children under the age of 18, are we saying that girls should be able to have an abortion without the knowledge of their parents? Nebulous at best. And why is this okay unless our government believes that parents are not the best educators for their children?
(2) THE STATE, ITS AGENCIES, INSTITUTIONS, AND POLITICAL
SUBDIVISIONS, AND EACH UNIT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT ENACT
A POLICY REGARDING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE THAT IS INCONSISTENT
WITH OR THAT DENIES OR INTERFERES WITH ACCESS TO INFORMATION
BASED ON, CURRENT EVIDENCE-BASED SCIENTIFIC DATA AND MEDICAL CONSENSUS
Shall we all be limited by the “current evidence-based” scientific data? We all know that changes weekly depending on what study you read. Who’s medical consensus? A public nurse’s knowledge or a doctor who has practiced OB-GYN for twenty years? I think a definition is in order as this remains quite nebulous once again.
…that is unless the government is trying to limit future legislation from those they deem outside their political reach.
What seems to be missing is the concept that the general public is able to gather their own information and make a reasonable decision based on their own brains. If not, then why do we need this legislation?
(3) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FINDS AND DETERMINES THAT THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS PART 4 ARE MATTERS OF STATEWIDE CONCERN AND
SHALL NOT BE CONTRAVENED BY A LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Some have said that this bill makes it difficult to pass future legislation from the will of the people, meaning that the legislature doesn’t like individuals signing petitions and getting things like the Personhood Amendments on the ballot. What are they scared of? Hmm…
If this is about children younger than 18 getting abortions then I would ask that the legislature read the scientific evidence of the radically changing teenage brain (see the links below). When they can come to a consensus about that, then perhaps they’ll be ready to legislate about teenage abortions without consent of the parent.
http://www.generationnext.com.au/2012/03/seven-strategies-to-properly-engage-the-teenage-brain/ - please note the idea that this article presents strategies including “close supervision of teens.” Hmmm, I wonder why.
And if they pass this law and my twelve year old can receive an abortion without me, she can certainly have the right to vote. Any takers?