Written by Ryan Neuhaus, August 13, 2019. Originally published in the Washington Examiner
Recently, a coalition of 75 organizations including Planned Parenthood, National LGBTQ Task Force, the ACLU, and the National Abortion Federation released a 116-page blueprint outlining a policy agenda aimed at advancing policies for women and children in the name of “sexual and reproductive health care, rights, and justice.” However, after reading over the policies, one quickly realizes that they would substantially harm American families without bringing forth "rights" or "justice."
Parental rights, for example, are targeted for elimination. The coalition deemed parental consent for an abortion as detrimental to the empowerment of “girls and youth assigned female.”
If the true goal of the coalition is to help empower young women, shouldn’t they encourage young women to look to their mothers, their families, or at least an experienced adult such as a judge for guidance in potentially intense and emotional times? After all, considering that adult engagement is required for getting your ears pierced or taking an aspirin at school, surely making a life-ending decision such as abortion is worth a conversation with someone who isn’t going to profit from it.
Cutting out mothers seems like the most glaring oversight of all.
“Of all familial relationships, the mother–daughter one is most likely to remain important for both parties, even when major life changes occur,” write the authors of a study led by Kathryn Bojczyk of Florida State University. “Multiple theoretical perspectives recognize the mother–daughter bond as lifelong, intimate, and developmentally important.”
Distancing a mother’s guidance regarding the health and well-being of their children is terrible policy.
Research conducted by Paula Goodwin of Purdue University and Osman Galal of UCLA has shown that traditional family structures have positioned women to directly impact the overall health and well-being of their families. If the true intent of pro-abortion activists were to provide healthcare to women, while respecting and valuing women, taking mothers out of the decision-making process alongside their children would be viewed as irresponsible, as it devalues motherhood and endangers adolescent women.
Good policy would uphold parental and adult engagement laws, as mothers and fathers are at the heart of a child’s education and healthcare. And parents will be the ones helping pick up the pieces when things go wrong. Judicial bypass laws also at least ensure that someone with the child’s interest in mind is looking at the needs of all.
Perhaps the abortion lobby’s desire to cut out parents has to do with the fact that they want unrestricted access to minors to make an abortion sale. The substantive work of Dr. Michael New has shown conclusively that when a state passes a law ensuring that parents are involved in the decision, the overall statewide rate of abortion decreases by an estimated 13.6%.
Abortion has harmed millions of women across the United States. Often portrayed as a safe medical practice, abortion has been found to scar the lining of the uterus, damage the cervix and other internal organs, lead to eating disorders, depression, suicidal thoughts, and even death. Complications from botched surgeries have resulted in hysterectomies, ending girls' chances ever to have children of their own later in life.
The overriding problem with the healthcare proposal coming from abortion advocates is a fundamental disagreement over what constitutes healthcare. Pregnancy is not a disease cured by abortion. Pushing an agenda that distills all women’s interests down to the presence or absence of abortion ignores needs for economic advancement, access to education, or a level playing field in the law.
A blueprint for healthcare that values and strengthens the lives of mothers and children is a good idea. It won’t be achieved if we cut the ties between adults and children. The real question is who can be better trusted to help a child make an abortion decision, the people who have devoted their lives to a child, or the people whose goal is to make a sale?
Ryan Neuhaus is Students for Life of America’s Florida Regional Coordinator.
Volunteers of Utah Eagle Forum.