Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Blinded by the Right

What kind of insane idealogue would try to get health professionals to snitch on their young, sexually active patients? Well, the Kansas Attorney General is one. Can you imagine anything more stupid? Teenagers engaging in sexual conduct would be discouraged from seeking advice when they need it most. I'm astounded by how ridiculous the right wing zealots are, and how scary the implications of their idiocy can be.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What shocks me is that health professionals, who must get parental consent before giving a child an aspirin, can perform an abortion or perhaps one day provide a "morning after" pill to a young girl without reporting to parents OR police that a crime was committed against the child. Certainly you are aware of the risk of life threatening hemorraghing not only from abortion, but from the morning after pill? Wouldn't it be a good idea for Mom and/or Dad or Guardian to know why little Janie is so pale and anemic looking (assuming the worst case)? Will it be easier for little Janie to say," Mom, Dad, I got pregnant and didn't want to tell you, so I got an abortion without talking with you and now I'm worried because I knew I might bleed some, but it seems like I'm bleeding a lot. Do you think you could drive me to the doctor's office?"

Heaven forbid that someone too immature to vote, fight, drink or even drive should have to talk with parents or the police about such an important decision or about the crime that was committed. If you don't like the fact that sex with minors is a crime, work on changing the law. Consider this scenario, though. A young girl is molested by a respected adult in the community. She gets pregnant. He threatens her not to breathe a word. She is frightened and gets an abortion. The doctor remains silent and the girl doesn't tell her parents. The molestor does it again, or worse, adds a new victim to his list. Under Kline's interpretation of the law, these young patients might end up having constructive talks with their parents or law enforcement and the pedophile might spend some time in prison wishing he had committed a crime that was tolerated more by the general prison population.

I understand that the Kansas Attorney General's position has its own problems and you can certainly develop scenarios where the girl suffers if the doctor tells the authorities. I think the key question is which interpretation causes greater harm - an interpretation that may smoke out a few more pedophiles while embarrassing many young lovers, or an interpretation that protects young lovers from embarrassment and gives pedophiles more reason to believe they will not be caught. I'm not sure I know the answer to this question. I do know its a lot closer question than your comment suggests.

You may have legitimate reasons for your epithet describing the Kansas Attorney General. Nevertheless, his position on this issue is not as stupid as you suggest.

7/28/2004 7:45 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


First, you change the topic from mandatory reporting of all underage sexual activity to parental notification of abortion. (I happen to disagree with your perspective on that one, too, but Kline's attempt to bring the police into the high schools has nothing to do with your hypothetical little girl hemorraging.) The issue here is mandatory reporting of sexual activity to law enforcement authorities.

The question is no closer than I indicated, and my description of Kline is dead-on. Remember, this is MANDATORY reporting of all sexual activity. If a doctor suspects abuse, s/he certainly should and would report it, but Kline is out to destroy the physician-client relationship for teenagers who do not live up to his moral standards.

INHO, Kline is at least equally interested in trying to harass and criminalize thousands of sexually active teenagers than he is in catching a hypothetical pedophile.

7/30/2004 6:37 AM  

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