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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Girls in North Dakota = Chattel

posted by bitchphd
Probably the scariest story yet about the progress of family-values, right-wing, anti-women legislation: North Dakota's House of Representatives just rejected a bill that would allow pregnant teenagers to see doctors without having to get their parents' permission.
Pregnant girls should get adult permission before they get medical checkups for their unborn babies, the state House decided as representatives defeated a proposal to allow teenagers to seek confidential prenatal care.

North Dakota law now requires a doctor to have permission from a parent or guardian to treat pregnant girls who are younger than 18.
[Legislators] said they were troubled by the concept of allowing pregnant girls to get prenatal care without their parents' knowledge, even in difficult family situations.
Holeey crap. Could it be any clearer that children--especially girl children--are essentially chattel in the eyes of these people? In ND, kids over 14 can get confidential treatment for addiction or STDs (as they should). But pregnancy, which specifically affects only girls? Nope.

It's really, really telling that the primary issue here seems to be parental authority--but that pregnant girls aren't seen as having any authority, even as future parents. And that the sole regret lawmakers seem willing to address is the effect that a lack of medical care might have on the fetus, rather than the pregnant girl herself:
"Vast generations have been born without the type of medical care and prenatal care that we have today," said Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot. "It's great that people get the treatment early, but we don't need to do something that is going to take away the authority of the parents, who are responsible for paying the bills."
For paying the bills?!?! Wow. Is this enough evidence that the "who's gonna pay for it?" philosophy of politics has gone too far? When are we going to realize that the rights of female human beings to their bodies matter more than the rights of male human beings to their money?

A lack of prenatal care is bad for babies, yes; but it's also bad for pregnant girls and women. Ectopic pregnancies, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure), and dangerous miscarriages are all killers, and none of them are uncommon. And what if a pregnant girl shows up in the e.r. after being hit by a car, or beaten by her boyfriend or parents? Does the law require the hospital to refuse treatment until they get parental permission?

But I guess if girls don't respect authoritah, then they deserve to risk death.

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