Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Battle Between Liberal Professionals and Conservative Parents

Marquette student Mary Ellen Burke is doing an internship with the conservative periodical Human Events, and has written an interesting article about an initiative in Congress to prevent government-funded clinics giving birth control to teenagers without their parents knowing.
Last considered in 2003, the act (HR 3011) would require Title X clinics to provide written notification to parents at least five business days before issuing contraceptives to a minor. The bill was reintroduced in Congress on June 21 of this year and has 61 cosponsors in the House and nine cosponsors in the Senate.

“As a practicing family physician, and as a member of Congress, I have seen first-hand the painful consequences associated with our federal policy that allows children to make potentially life-changing reproduction decisions without their parents’ knowledge,” Coburn said at a press conference earlier this month.

Conservatives have expressed concern that the government is becoming too involved in an issue that should be decided within the family.

“That whole concept violates the very notion of parental authority and the right to protect our children,” said Carrie Gordon Earll, a senior policy analyst for Focus on the Family.
This is yet another front in the continuing battle between conservative parents and liberal middle-class professionals, the latter wanting to usurp authority over how children and teenagers should be raised.

And liberals indeed say they should be able to give birth control to teenagers without parents even knowing about it:
“The government doesn’t know what’s best in any individual’s family. Families are private things, not government things, and should not force communication [between parent and child],” said Marjorie Signer, communication director of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Singer said she believes the government should provide basic services, including accurate and comprehensive information, but not put regulations on those services.
This particular activist doesn’t seem to understand the irony of saying “The government doesn’t know what’s best in any individual’s family.” She in fact stands for the power of government to intervene in family affairs.

This, of course, is the same battle being fought over school choice, where liberals are on the side of a government education monopoly, essentially because they want the right to indoctrinate children.

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