Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bad Laws for Bad Parents

Yesterday the republicans, again, deviated from highly relevant issues needing legislation such as disaster prevention, energy subsidies, port security, universal health care, etc. So what issue did the repugs spend legislative time debating? They passed a bill that would criminalize people who help minors cross state lines to avoid parental notification laws. Rawstory reports:
A bill that would make it a crime to take a pregnant girl across state lines for an abortion without her parents' knowledge passed the Senate Tuesday, but vast differences with the House version stood between the measure and President Bush's desk. The 65-34 vote gave the Senate's approval to the bill, which would make taking a pregnant girl to another state for the purposes of evading parental notification laws punishable by fines and up to a year in jail. ...
"No parent wants anyone to take their children across state lines or even across the street without their permission," said Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "This is a fundamental right, and the Congress is right to uphold it in law."
When I heard about this legislation I began thinking about parental notification laws. These laws are not relevant to parents who have built caring, supportive relationships with their children. Those parents are quickly approached by their children and sought for their wisdom when tough decisions of all sorts need making. There parental notification laws are primarily to coddle parents who haven't built trust with their kids. If the parents have been unable to create a relationship with their kids typified by mutual respect and advice on important decisions than no amount of government intervention is going to do it. Enough with rolling out the police to enforce parental discipline. Let the police stop violent crime. Let parents learn to parent on their own.

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