Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Rights & Responsibilities of Parenthood

California's Proposition 73 is titled: Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

The PRO arguments contains the following statement: "It will restore Californians' right to counsel and care for their young daughters before--and after--an abortion.

The CON argument contains this statement: "Scared, pregnant teenagers don't need a judge--they need a counselor."

Funny. I thought I was my daughters' counselor. I thought that was part of my job as Parent.

For various reasons--none of them pregnancy related as of yet--our family has had contact with different counselors at different times. Overall, I am not impressed. All of them meant well, but I often felt that since their job is to solve problems, they made up some that weren't there. Several of them were not mothers or had no experience with the realities of life in a large family. And my observations, while not exactly ignored, were not accepted or considered relevant.

These are the types of people who are supposed to counsel my daughter when she is pregnant?

In college I met a woman who had an abortions as a young teen. Her "counselors" accepted the teen's assertion that her parents "wouldn't understand" at face value and made no attempt to initiate or encourage dialogue between parents and daughter. The abortion became a huge secret the daughter had to keep from her parents, further inhibiting communication.

I have grown in my job as mother as much as my children have grown. Encouraging my daughter to have an abortion behind my back hurts me and my growth as much as it does hers.

Much like facing the death of a loved one, facing a crisis often brings a family together and makes them stronger as individuals and as a family. In our culture's rush for the "easy way out," we ignore that truth and we suffer for it.