Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Thoughts on Prop. 73
by Michael Sherrillo

Until the day I turned 18, I was not a child first and a boy second. I was born a boy, just as I was born with blonde hair and blue eyes and fair skin. That the state considered me a child was simply a temporary category. The same goes for girls, they are born females, that they are children is incidental. The rights that women have should be granted to all women, not just adults. Too much emphasis is put on age in this country. I have studies physiological psychology, I realize the implication of not being completely cerebrally developed by age 18, however, most people do not realize that development continues until they are in their mid-twenties (not just 18 or 21)! Even then, there are cognitive developmental categories that continue throughout adulthood as pruning of neurons and experience continue to make your mental gadgetry more fine-tuned. Not to mention the fact that nutrition, exercise, and your surroundings also have a great impact on delaying or speeding up development.
If we want to make laws that are based on physiology, we cannot ignore the fact that women’s genitals are part of their physiology as well. Their body has developmental stages just as their mind does, and we need laws that understand that a girl can have a baby at 14. So what if she isn't an "adult", your an adult when your 18, yet you can't drink till your 21. So why if the government can delay some rights, can they not rush others?
People keep saying, "Well when/if I had a kid I'd want to know if they were going to have an abortion!” Of course you would, and that is the very reason you shouldn't be informed! Yeah, so there are a few cool parents who would be understanding and supportive and this may open some communication doors, but how many of us remember our parents as being cool like that? Mine certainly weren’t! Voting "NO" on this proposition means you are protecting children from their parents and themselves. I've know a few girls who had backdoor abortions; some took pills and almost died trying to kill their kids, another threw herself down the stairs, and one in middle school actually had a wire hanger abortion and was hospitalized for a month from tearing and internal bleeding! Guess what, all of them came from very conservative homes, with Christian middle class parents (the very ones who are supporting this prop.), and one's father was a minister! All because their parents thought abortions was wrong, and wanted the girls to have the babies and either deal with the burden or give them up to adoption.
If we want to acknowledge that these minors haven't had their decision making equipment fully developed yet, then why would we put them in a position which could force them to suffer for the rest of their lives as single mothers who would be, statistically, living under the poverty line and raising kid or putting him in foster care, which would then make their children more prone to criminal and violent behavior?
The truth is most of these adults are too blindsided by their beliefs and morals to be able to remember their own childhood, and exactly how unreasonable parents are. Minors or not, we are human being capable of rational thought and decision making processes, and kids have to deal with that responsibility for most of their lives, the grades they get as a freshman in high school will influence the college they go to, and their career choices. If minors aren't capable of that kind of responsible though, then colleges and universities should only check your grades from your senior year.
Most minors understand their parents and their views and reactions, and are aware of the costs and consequences of making a decision like that. If they aren’t, then it is up to the abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood to give them accurate and unbiased information regarding the procedure and alternatives so they can make that decision on their own.
We aren’t talking about six year olds. These are human beings in their early and mid teens, let’s give them a little more credit. Their parents obviously are more worried about their beliefs and being controlling than of having rational and empirical discussions, if they weren't, this Prop. wouldn't even be on the ballot.

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