September 23, 2005

UP TO US TO RAVEL IT:

Our devolving society (Waterbury Republican-American, September 23, 2005)

Seven years ago, Ohio passed a law requiring girls under 18 to get their parents' written consent before having an abortion. Tied up in court since then by American Civil Liberties Union lawyers on behalf of a Cincinnati abortion clinic, the law also requires women seeking abortions to meet face-to-face with a doctor to learn more about the procedure and its risks and alternatives.

U.S. District Court Judge Sandra S. Beckwith now says the law is "legal" because the "evidence does not demonstrate that (the statute) imposes undue burdens on the abortion right." Pro-lifers were too busy hailing the ruling and the ACLU too busy mulling an appeal to realize how well this decision illustrates the devolution of civil society.

In bygone days, many of society's most important laws were unwritten. Paramount among them was that parents were responsible for giving their children a proper upbringing. Among other things, they were to feed, clothe and nurture them, teach them proper manners and discipline them when they got out of line. Parents understood that teenagers are incapable of making reasoned decisions because young brains are not yet wired to consider the full consequences of their actions. The goal of parents was to guide their children and mold them into productive, responsible adults, and the vast majority didn't need a judge to prod them to take their jobs seriously.

So had a 15-year-old showed up at a doctor's office looking for an abortion, any physician worth his diploma would have contacted her parents because it was the right thing to do. And a doctor true to his oath would have counseled a woman seeking an abortion about the many potential physical and psychological traumas; again, it was the right thing to do. But all that changed after abortion became a "constitutional right," and legal and illegal supplanted right and wrong as the barometer of behavior in America.

With virtue and standards taken out of play, the fabric of society unraveled.


Posted by Orrin Judd at September 23, 2005 7:55 AM
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