MU Cerebellum

"Writers, especially when they act in a body and with one direction, have great influence on the public mind." -Edmund Burke

Monday, March 06, 2006

Yea sure, all pregnant teenage girls would tell their parents they are going to have an abortion! Silly me!

The New York Times has got it wrong - again. Drawing evidence from "statistical analysis" the Times claims that parent-notification laws regarding abortion have not shown an impact on the number of teenages who get pregnant. Getting many of their their facts from NARAL (a completely non-biased/distorted "advocacy group"), the NYT article stated that:

For all the passions they generate, laws that require minors to notify their parents or get permission to have an abortion do not appear to have produced the sharp drop in teenage abortion rates that some advocates hoped for, an analysis by The New York Times shows.

The article stated that the study of six states could not show that these laws had a "significant impact" on the teenagers who got pregnant. However, the article failed to provide any of the statistics from the study they mentioned to back up the assertion. Though I am not mathematician, from my experience, statistical analysis involved hard numerical data to back up a claim based on those numbers. Instead they used arbitrary 'facts' from other sources that have nothing to do with the study they used to justify their claim.

But the New York Times also justifies that parent-notifications do nothing because all pregnant teenagers would tell their parents anyway:

But some workers and doctors at abortion clinics said that the laws had little connection with the real lives of most teenagers, and that they more often saw parents pressing their daughters to have abortions than trying to stop them. And many teenagers say they never considered hiding their pregnancies or abortion plans from their mothers.

"I would have told my mother anyway," said a 16-year-old named Nicole, who waited recently at a clinic in Allentown, Pa., a state that requires minors to get the permission of just one parent. Nicole's mother and father are divorced, and it was her mother she went to for permission to have an abortion.

"She was the first person I called," Nicole said. "She's like a best friend to me."

If she would have told her mother anyway, it wouldn't matter? She'd be both an honest teenager AND a law-abider!

But then again, a parent-notification law would make it so hard for someone like Nicole to break it to her "estranged" father, but, Nicole said:

"It was my choice to tell him," she said. "It hurt him, but he understands and is there for me. So in a way it brought us closer together."

Awww, how sweet. Teen pregnancy is a source of father-daughter bonding. Blasted parent-notification laws would destroy that!

Thankfully The Heritage Foundation in their policy blog rebuttal were able to provide real and relevant data, citing specific statistics and citing them. Not only do they have hard data, they completely refute the false claims the Times tries to pass as fact.


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