Proving once again that they see law as nothing more than politics by other means, Planned Parenthood of Montana has announced their intentions to challenge HB 391, a recently-passed bill requiring minors to obtain parental consent before having abortions:
Bill sponsors say parents should be involved in medical procedures affecting their children, and that the government shouldn’t place themselves in between the parents and children.
But Planned Parenthood disagrees, saying HB 391 is unconstitutional and deserves to get struck down. “Laws like this can’t force teens to talk to their parents, and the sad truth is some teens live in dangerous homes and can’t go to their parents,” [PPMT Director of Public Affairs Stacey] Anderson said.
Every time we think we’ve hit rock bottom in pro-aborts’ legal aptitude, the floor gives out. It’s telling that Ms. Anderson’s statement is a pure policy argument, not a legal one—she gives reasons for the law’s alleged ineffectiveness and negative consequences, but not any specific constitutional provision it violates.
News flash: legislatures are allowed to make bad laws, and our system of government polices them in the voting booth, not the courtroom. One of the reasons for elected, representative government is that there aren’t some grand legal or scientific formulas for sound policymaking that we can set up and let handle everything, like computer programs. These are questions of values, experience, and prudence best suited for the people’s legislative bodies, which can far more easily be held accountable and amended in the event of changing judgments than can a small handful of unelected judges.
This is especially true at the state level, which, unlike the federal government, possesses “numerous and indefinite” powers over “all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
Even if there were some constitutional right to abortion, which there isn’t, it wouldn’t follow that minors’ exercising of that right cannot be regulated. It’s a longstanding, widely accepted principle of American law that minors lack the experience and psychological development necessary to fully exercise the rights of independent adulthood, and therefore their parents or legal guardians are empowered to steer them toward right decisions and away from wrong ones.
Parental consent is required for most medical procedures children receive. 38 states [PDF] require parental consent and/or notification for a minor’s abortion. No state allows those younger than 16 to consent to sex. 45 states forbid minors from getting tattoos. Over 30 states regulate minors’ freedom to use indoor tanning services. Parents generally have the right to decide where their kids live and go to school. While there is debate over lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, few would advocate lowering it beyond that. Even after being issued a driver’s license, the majority of states still regulate minors’ unsupervised night driving and number of passengers.
The only question here is one pro-aborts will have a hard time answering: what makes abortion so different from every other major decision a minor might be involved in that the same standards have to be cast aside, by a judge’s gavel if necessary? (And no, “because the girl’s father might be abusing her” isn’t a valid answer, since the bill includes a judicial bypass for such situations).
Pro-lifers ask this all the time, but since we never get a straight answer, it’s worth asking again: if the “right to choose” really is the enlightened judgment of modern America, and pro-aborts have nothing to fear from letting democracy run its course, then why is their first instinct to hide behind a judge’s robes?