Long-time readers will be familiar with my interest in the "choice devours itself" phenomenon. (See here and here.) Briefly, a "choice devours itself" incident occurs when liberals connive at or turn a blind eye to coercion in one of the areas that they have defined as an expression of freedom. Hence, forced abortion in China or pressure to commit suicide or even (as in one of my linked posts) the outright use of force by those "assisting suicide." The committed so-called "pro-choicer" either pretends that these things don't happen, claiming that they are just propaganda by the "anti-choice" crowd, refuses to talk about them, or participates in them openly.
Abortion for minors is an interesting case-study here. Pro-choice absolutists oppose parental consent laws. They believe that minor girls should be able to get abortions against their parents' wishes, even though this is contrary to the usual legal situation concerning medical procedures for minors, where parental consent is required. But abortion is supposed to be such a special expression of a female's freedom that even girls too young, normally, to consent to medical procedures are supposed to have freedom to have abortions against their parents' wishes.
But what about the flip side of the coin? Correct me if I'm wrong, legal eagles, but my impression is that if Mom wants a twelve-year-old daughter to have her wisdom teeth out (on medical advice), and the girl doesn't want it, Mom can insist. Just as the default assumption is that parents must consent to medical procedures for minors, so the default assumption is that parents can insist that minors have medical procedures they (the parents) deem necessary, even against the minors' wishes.
So if abortion is so special and choice so central thereto, why do we never hear pro-aborts talking about getting special laws passed to allow minor girls to refuse to have abortions?
That minor girls can be required by their parents and those in loco parentis to have abortions is abundantly evident by anecdotal evidence. I've known of more than one such case myself.
So I suppose that this story shouldn't surprise us. It comes into the light of day only because a) the girl was 16, when even many parents might start backing off (though see here for the story of the coercion of a 15-year-old by her liberal parents), b) it wasn't the parents of the 16-year-old who allegedly pressured her but a government DHS worker, against the wishes of the birth mother, the girl's case worker, and the girl's foster mother, and c) the case worker was fired, and by her account it was for raising objections to the abortion.
So: Could this be a new field for pro-life legislation? What would it take to craft state legislation that says that a minor may not be coerced by her parents, guardians, social workers, etc., to have an abortion? Sure, this would involve importing into law the notion that a minor can consent or refuse consent to (this particular) medical procedure. But that notion must already exist in law, at least tacitly, because in states where there is no parental consent requirement, someone must be consenting to the abortions of minor girls. Who is doing it there if not the minor girls themselves?
Is this a good idea? I think it's at least worth thinking about.
HT: Romish Graffiti