When politicians usurp the role of a parent

The Whalen for Congress campaign sent out a release yesterday which troubles me in so many diffferent ways.

The release started out with the statements she made in support on her position on abortion on a National Planned Parenthood teleconference:
Herseth: “I’m calling from South Dakota to tell you a little bit about choice politics in our state.” “Myself and Senator Johnson, you know, we’re both pro-choice,” said Herseth recently on a teleconference that Planned Parenthood sent out. She went on to say: “I was proud to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Emily’s list in 2002 and in 2004 again in this election cycle…voting for someone who believes in protecting a woman’s right to choose.
At the end of the day, she's entitled to her personal position on abortion. That's not to say that voters might not decide to take issue with it at some point - but she is entitled to her position.

But then the release goes into an issue that kind of gets my goat. The issue of parental notification. Because just this past week, Congresswoman Herseth broke with her colleagues in the Senate, Senator Tim Johnson who shares her position on abortion, as well as Senator John Thune who doesn't.

According to the Aberdeen American News:
The House on Tuesday passed a bill (S403) making it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion to evade a law in her home state that requires parental notification and approval of planned abortions. The bill sets maximum penalties of a $100,000 fine and one year in jail for those providing the transportation and for providers who fail to notify parents 24 hours in advance of the procedure. The bill does not apply if the abortion is necessary to save the girl's life.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

South Dakota: Herseth-D., voted no.

The Whalen campaign's take on it?
On parental notification, Ms. Herseth has voted against the measures twice in the last two years. This legislation would require that parents be notified if minor daughters are seeking an abortion in another state and it has the support of South Dakota ’s two Senators: Tim Johnson and John Thune. Herseth’s spokesman recently stated in an interview with Bob Mercer that this legislation is “an overreaching intrusion into the personal reproductive health choices of young women and their families.”
My take on it? How dare she.

Who is she to determine that the Government knows what's better for a child than their parents? I have minor children who can't pick up their room, but according to Congresswoman Herseth; it's o.k. if they talked someone into taking them across state lines for an invasive medical procedure.

Yes, there are bad parents out there. Sick parents who might be committing such acts. If that's going to be your rebuttal - show me some numbers. Because you're casting good parents in with that mix.

How far across the spectrum does this reach? Even people who say it's something between a woman and their doctor (and there are several conservative Republicans I know who hold this view) are going to say that this is taking it out of the realm of it being a decision between parents and a medical provider. This is a government intrusion into their lives of the worst kind.

The difference between Herseth and her Senate colleagues is that they have the added experience of actually being parents, where she does not. They've sat up with those kids when they've been sick. They've taken them to school, they've seen their kids at their highs and lows, at their best and their worst. They've watched them mature from infants to young adults and guided their decisions and values along the way.

Congresswoman Herseth? Children are something she's been related to, and possibly babysat.

Until she's had children of her own, I don't think she comprehends the enormity of the offense for taking such a decision out of parent's hands.

Comments

feasant said…
Everyone knows Herseth is Pro-Abortion. She admits it, now she votes it. She is for partial birth abortions and for taking a minor across State lines without a parents permission. She would not have gotten the money from Emily's List if she didn't endorse abortions.
Anonymous said…
Ask Becky Bell's parents what they think of parental notification.
Anonymous said…
who's Becky Bell?
Mom said…
Here! here! Pat!

As the parent of five children, our entire family agrees that, the DREAD of TELLING Mom and Dad about something that they won't want to hear is far worse than the actual telling and the following ramifacations.(Sinking the sailboat, "F" in English class, speeding ticket....)

MOST of us manage pretty well even if it means a surprise grandchild.

Just like no one else should take your daughter shopping for a wedding dress or sit with her at a friend's funeral--no one else should be the one to help her decide what to do if she gets pregnant!

Vote against Herseth--vote against Planned Parenthood!
Anonymous said…
"This is a government intrusion into their lives of the worst kind."

How does voting against a new law count as "government intrusion"?

Serioiusly, I'd like to know.
Anonymous said…
Herseth thinks that she and government know better than the rest of us, especially those of us who are parents.

Her position and comments are a window into her soul. Her comments are those of an elitist, if you will.

Herseth is always trumpeting the pro-abort talking point about wanting to reduce abortions without doing anything about it. She had the opportunity to vote for a measure that would help reduce abortions and she refused to do so. And, in the process told all South Dakota parents that she knows better than us.

Usually the Herseth bulldogs are all over this website and making comments about her. It will be interesting to see what their reactions are to her comments and how they defend the indefensible.
Douglas said…
The intent of that legislation is to force girls raped by family members to carry that misbegotten fetus fullterm to be a reminder and millstone for the rest of her life.

This bill should have zero impact on the perfect families described here and probably for most of us writing and reading at this blog.

Why the Republicans in congress and in South Dakota are hellbent to firm up rapist rights legislation is beyond me.

If you don't want an abortion don't have one. That is a personal choice. Trying to force that personal and theocratic position into government is just plain inappropriate.

The choice is not between abortions and no abortions, but between safe,legal, rare abortions and rarely safe illegal abortions. Women and girls who don't want to have children but find themselves pregnant will probably not be very good mothers.

Want to reduce abortions? Make sure children are educated on the distinction between easily reversable decisions and decisions with irreversible consequences or consequences reversible only with great personal or social costs.

Whalen completely omits consideration of the privacy of children in bad situations. Apparently the reservations have more than a few children in such situations.
Anonymous said…
Douglas:

I assume that you would be hellbent on fully supporting the mandating of agressive abstinence education in our schools so as to educate our children in succeeding to, as in your own words, "[m]ake sure children are educated on the distinction between easily reversable decisions and decisions with irreversible consequences or consequences reversible only with great personal or social costs.

I'm sure you would agree that abstinence the only scientifically proven method which is 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancies. And if you do agree I'm sure that you would embrace a method which would certainly teach children how to refrain from making a decision that is only reversible with an invasive medical procedure, which can cause both physical and emotional problems.
Anonymous said…
Doulgas:

you make the argument that the legislature in passing 1215 was "trying to force that personal and theocratic position into government is just plain inappropriate."

The Supreme Court has ruled on this topic. They are the third branch of government. So government is neck deep in abortion. Further, Planned Parenthood received 250 million from the feds last year in Title X federal funding. See: www.gao.gov/new.items/d03527r.pdf and opa.osophs.dhhs.gov/titlex/ofp.html

Can we now count on you to come out and support the elimination of federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics?

Also, for 150 years in this country abortion was left to the states to regulate. It's not as if abortion is some sacred cow that government is not allowed to regulate. Afterall it's liberals like yourself that preach the federal government is allowed to regulate more and more.

Conservatives have been consistent in stating that this is too important of an issue for unelected unaccountable judges to rule on. I'm sure that you would also be in favor of allowing the people to decide this issue instead of unelected unaccountable government types right? After all you are the same person who probably drools all over himself when the Bush's and Cheney's of this world do things and are not held accountable right?
Anonymous said…
PP - read over the first couple paragraphs of this post - it is very confusing. I couldn't tell what was coming from Herseth and what was coming from Whalen.
Anonymous said…
Douglas, you find me a girl who has been raped by a family member WHO DOESN'T REMEMBER IT THE REST OF HER LIFE, and then I'll start looking at your comments as credible.

Apparently girls who are raped by their family members--but do not conceive--have no recollection of the crime done to them.

The rest of your random doodlings are incoherent, at best; but more than likely, insane. Therefore, they warrant no more of my time.

Another bang up argument, Douglas.
Anonymous said…
What's confusing to me is why Douglas says that the government should get out of abortion but then fails call for the elimination of Title X funds to Planned Parenthood.


But wait it's all become clear because he's another liberal hypocrite.
Anonymous said…
I'm with Douglas. I cannot believe the theocrats got their way with parental consent laws in all the states that require minors to get permission before getting their ears pierced. Damn them. We all know such a law has nothing to do with the health or safety of the kid who might end up with an ear infection. The theocrats care only about suppressing the will of a child who wants to pierce his or her ears.

And tattoos....damn those theocrats again!!
Anonymous said…
Wow! I just ran a search for "Becky Bell" on Yahoo. I didn't realize....

That is absolutely tragic.
Anonymous said…
Becky Bell was a 17 year old girl from Indiana who chose to undergo an illegal abortion, from which she eventually died, rather than tell her parents or a judge that she was pregnant.

Her parents and brother have dedicated much of their lives to campaigning against parental consent laws.
Anonymous said…
The tragedy of Becky Bell's story is that after her death, pro-abortion forces enlisted her parents to become their crusaders. Becky Bell didn't die from an abortion. She died from pneumonia. Nonetheless, NARAL has spent years trying to portray Becky Bell's death as one caused by an illegal abortion she sought after Indiana enacted a parental consent law. NARAL is so deceitful that they won't even let a poor girl rest in peace. They have to exploit her (post-mortem) and her parents to try to further their agenda. Tragic indeed!

From http://www.gargaro.com/beckybell.html

"What the report did show was that Becky Bell died of a deadly and fast-acting form of pneumonia, similar to that which killed Muppets creator Jim Henson, which had neither originated in nor had affected the reproductive system. She had contracted this especially lethal form of pneumonia at about the same time that she had a miscarriage.

Various doctors have confirmed that Becky Bell did not die from an induced abortion.

....the report listed massive infection in Becky Bell's lungs and in other areas of her body, but there was no evidence of infection on the outside of her uterus or within it. He also stated that the germ that killed her was a common pneumonia germ "...
nonnie said…
A kid needs parental permission to take an aspirin in school. And according to Herseth a child doesn't need parental permission to cross state lines and get an abortion???? What kind of ludicrous country do we live in anymore?
Bob Newland said…
Tomorrow, SD Public Radio will carry a Forum discussion on medical cannabis. 11am MT, 12N CT.
Anonymous said…
Good idea Bob... if everyone whose kid was pregnant were issued medical cannabis, they wouldn't care!

Then their kids wouldn't need to sneak across a state line with someone else. At least as long as the kids told the parents they were on a munchy road trip!
Anonymous said…
"The Supreme Court has ruled on this topic. They are the third branch of government. So government is neck deep in abortion."

This is perhaps the dumbest thing I've read on a blog for a quite a while. It also displays a stunning lack of understanding about how government works.
jake mortenson said…
PP,

Regardless of what you think of this law, it is not a "government intrustion". When the government forces you to do something, such as notify parents prior to a medical procedure, it is intruding. Thus, passing this law would involve government intrusion, not passing it would limit government intrusion.

Unless you can provide an alternative definition for government intrusion?

I am not even necessarily opposed to this law. I am just bothered by your use of "government intrustion". In fact, I think on some level you are deliberately misusing the term to awake dormant conservative preferences for SMALL government.

Call this bill what it is. We as a society wish to use government force to coerce minors into notifying their parents before having a medical operation of this kind performed. Asserting that voting "NO" is a vote FOR government intrusion is completely incorrect.
Anonymous said…
The Becky Bell story was featured on television in a family series called "Lifestories: Families in Crisis." I think that was the show I saw where her mother spoke afterwards. I remember her mother's interview because it was so chilling.

Becky's mother clearly blamed the girl's death on the abortion, and nothing was said about pneumonia. I had never heard the claim that she died from pneumonia before.

One thing is certain, no one had to twist the mother's arm to talk about it. In the interview, she was very clear about how she blamed the parental consent laws for her daughter's death. She stated that she was speaking out in hopes that it wouldn't happen to someone else.

I searched some of the sources on the web about this girl, and I was amazed at how some of the anti-abortion sites sited information that clearly differs from what the mother said. I wish I knew how to contact the mother so we could get her take on it.
Anonymous said…
Why would Becky Bell's mother lie about the death of her own child? It makes no sense.

It makes perfect sense, however, that anti-abortionists would lie about how Bell died.
Anonymous said…
Here is URL for a very balanced New York Times story about Becky Bell and Gianna Jessen, the girl who survived when her mother had a saline abortion. If you can copy this URL, go under file on your computer, click on open and paste the URL in the space. Then you should be able to pull up the story.
While the story is balanced, it gives you an idea of the politics involved. One group challenges whether Becky died from a septic abortion. Another group says there is no proof that Gianna was aborted.
Whom do you believe? I doubt that either side would pick someone to promote their cause if there was even a small chance that the facts weren't true. Read it and see what you think.

I had to create some breaks in the URL so that it would show up correctly on the post. There are spaces after gst, 34, and the word page. Those spaces in the website address will need to be deleted to get to this site.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst
/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE5DB1739F934
A15753C1A967958260&sec=health&page wanted=print
Anonymous said…
When are the abortionists who are for limiting government intrusion into this area going to call for the elimination of Title X funds being distributed to Planned Parenthood.

It's a bogus argument to say that you are for limiting the reach of government into an area such as abortion and not call for defunding Title X recipients.

Government is also heavily involved regarding court orders on abortion clinics, the regulation of clinics regarding state health requirements.

Douglas, if you want the government out of abortion I assume you want to stop the implemention of state health requirements on abortion clinics. Maybe doctors and others who perform abortions should not have to subject themselves to any criteria in order to perform an abortion.

My point is that government has and, regardless of 1215's resolution, will always have a hand in abortion.

So I put the question to Douglas: are going to call for complete Title X defunding of Planned Parenthood or not?
Anonymous said…
You "Yes on 6" people are all a bunch of hypocrites. You all want to take this very personal decision away from families and give it to government.

Herseth is the conservative here. You big-government folks are the liberals. Thank you Stephanie for standing up for people and voting for limited government.
Anonymous said…
Stephi is just voting this way because Emily's list is bankrolling her and she owes them big time.

She is bought and paid for by the abortion industry. She is a puppet of the pro-aborts.
Anonymous said…
Shows a real lack of spine if you ask me to be unable to stand up to the radical anti life forces on such benign issue.
Anonymous said…
To the Pro-Life People -

I thought this site was for mature adults, but some of your remarks make me question that. Can't you discuss these things without calling someone who disagrees with you names like abortionists and baby killers?

How would you like it if someone called you a clinic bomber or a doctor murderer? That is no more ridiculous than the the things you toss out.

How do you expect anyone to take you seriously if you behave like adolescents? Think about it.
Anonymous said…
People who vote against 6 ARE baby killers--indirectly-- but they ARE allowing the killing of babies continue.

They are aiding and abetting abortionist and just as if you vote for Democrat candidates you are a Democrat when you vote for abortions you become an abortionist supporter.

That is NOT name calling. It is simply the unclouded truth! Nothing adolescent about it.

NO one is voting for clinic bombers or doctor killers so to toss out those names WOULD be adolescent! :)
Anonymous said…
Anon 9:15 - People who are undecided on this issue are turned off by adults who can't disagree with someone without resorting to name calling. You are hurting your cause, and it will be your undoing.
Anonymous said…
"if you vote for Democrat candidates, you are a Democrat." What do you call someone who votes a mixed ticket?
been there said…
A thinker.... Actually it's a sick excuse to blame the law for Becky's death. Why didn't she tell her folks anyway, law or no law. What about the guilt of the person and facility that performed the abortion, or didn't recognize and treat the pneumonia? Why couldn't she confide in her parents?It seems they are blaming others for their own shortcomings.
Anonymous said…
1:09 am - It's easy to second guess someone after the fact. I agree with you though that the relationship couldn't have been quite right or the girl would have gone to her parents.

Rather than be concerned with the parental consent law, parents should establish a relationship with their children where the kids know that they can come to their parents when they are in trouble.

Children need to know that their parents will help them and stand by them, no matter what. That's unconditional love, and it's what families should be all about.

All parents should ask themselves if their children would be afraid of them in such a situation or if they would know their parents love them and would stand by them.
Children who fear their parents are not going to turn to them if they get in trouble.

It's not enough to preach abstinence. Parents had better be ready to deal with the consequences if kids don't listen - and there are plenty of them who don't listen.

Even "good" kids get in trouble. I've known plenty of parents through the years who thought they were doing everything right and were immune to that sort of problem. The rest of us know it doesn't necessarily work that way.

At the same time, people need to realize that there are situations where a father would beat his daughter to within an inch of her life if he found out she was pregnant. Those things happen. Then you have to ask whose life needs protecting the most.
foxgrandma said…
The government should never have been neck deep in abortion. Abortion should NEVER have been illegal in the first place. As far as cutting funding to Planned Parenthood goes, if that is cut than the funding towards the Alpha Center and Abstinence Clearing House should be cut too. There should be no reason for funding to any of these organizations. Aboriton should be available to anyone who chooses to have one,and done by any doctor that the woman chooses to perform it.
Anonymous said…
foxgrandma you are confusing abortion with adoption.

Silly you...wee adoption is for live children.
Anonymous said…
Heck yes. How could you confuse the two, foxgrandma? Leslee Unruh pays people who give up their babies for adoptions, but she doesn't pay people who have abortions.
Anonymous said…
What is it with people who think you are a second-class citizen if you don't have kids??? I'm tired of holier-than-thou comments like "unless you are a parent you don't know." Whether Ms. Herseth is a parent or not is irrelevant.
PP said…
Anon 4:32, no one is intimating that people without children are second class citizens.

However, stating "whether Ms. Herseth is a parent or not is irrelevant" stands as utter horsesh*t.

Until she's responsible for the individual welfare of another person, whether it be through birth, marriage or adoption, it's impossible to "get it" through merely saying you understand.
Anonymous said…
pp - Do you think there's any possibility that Miss Herseth has spoken with different social service and domestic violence agencies who might have told her the parental consent law can do more harm than good?

If you raise your kids to know that they can come to you in any situation, no matter what, and you will support them and stand by them, you shouldn't have a problem. While you're telling your daughters to "just say no," I hope you are telling them that too!

Not every daughter is lucky to have loving parents. That's why that consent law might be a problem for a girl whose father beats her, especially if she can't get an abortion in South Dakota.

There's always two sides to every story, and you don't need to be a parent to understand that.
You don't need to be a Republican either.

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