“An Abortion, But Not A Tan”

“A young women if this bill passes can get an abortion, but not a tan, an abortion would be legal but a tan would not, think of it.” Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R-Manchester)

She’s much too young for cigarettes,
And way too young for booze
Too young by far for voting;
There’s no telling who she’d choose!
She’s still too young for driving—
She could wipe out in a skid
But she’s old enough, or so they say,
To bear and raise a kid.

Too young for getting married
And too young to get tattoos
Too young to buy a handgun
Or to gamble (win or lose)
Too young to do a lot of things,
No ifs, no buts, no maybes…
But magically, she’s old enough
To be put in charge of babies!

I thought about it, Steve. There are, as you can see, quite a few things the state has decided are in its best interest, and the best interest of its citizens, to regulate. We don’t allow 14-yr-olds to vote, with or without their parents’ permission–that is the state’s choice. We don’t allow the parents to decide that their 12-year-old is responsible enough to drive. Mind you, parents can be idiots sometimes, so it is quite often the case that they will be the source of the kid’s cigarettes or beer well before it is legal; in such cases, we hold the parents liable for contributing to the delinquency of a minor!

Yup, kids make stupid decisions at times. They do things before they are mature enough to make good decisions (and of course, many adults simply make bad decisions, but the state has decided they can be responsible for themselves at a certain point). Forcing a teenaged girl to go through with a pregnancy is actually a fairly horrible thing to do; she is not mature enough, physically or emotionally, for childbirth, let alone for parenthood. One could make a strong case that it is in the state’s (and certainly the girls’) best interest to mandate abortion in cases of young teen pregnancy… but of course, such a law would never pass. Allowing choice, though, is not at all an extreme position–rather, it is a middle ground between mandating birth and mandating termination. And it is the only one that recognizes the bodily autonomy of the girl herself.

So, yeah, Steve, if the Tanning Safety bill had passed, a girl could have an abortion legally before she could go to a tanning bed legally (given the presence of the sun, the bill would not prohibit her from actually getting a tan); and this position is perfectly consistent with being concerned for the best interest of the girl. Your pro-skin-cancer, pro-forced-birth position is also consistent, if being cruel to girls is your aim.

(Of course, “A Good Cartoon” had this covered a while back.)


  1. Trebuchet says

    She probably isn’t allowed to buy birth control, either. Or if she is, Rep. Villain would happily support a bill to prevent it.

  2. says

    But she’s old enough, or so they say,
    To bear and raise a kid.

    But…adoption! Which is still quite awful as that implies she’s old enough to be a baby factory. :(

  3. Cuttlefish says

    But Leo, that would mean the state has the power to take her child from her! In defiance of natural law, which mandates heterosexual breeding for the sake of all that is good! A child does best with her/his biological parents, both male and female, and if they happen to be 16 years old at the time, that is part of god’s–er, nature’s plan! (and yes, I have friends who were parents at 16–well, he was 16, she was 15). This is the whole purpose of sex, which cannot be achieved by gay or lesbian couples deciding to have kids they can support and love…

    Ow! I sprained my brain…

  4. Linda Grilli Calhoun says

    I have worked in these situations. When I ask forced birthers what they think should happen next, they literally have no idea. Their first reaction is, of course, adoption. When I ask if the 13-year-old wants to keep her baby if they are advocating yanking it out of her arms, they’re stumped.

    All they can see is that they SAVED THE BABY!!! They get to walk away feeling smug and superior, no consequences at all for them. They never think about the situation beyond that.

    I have actually heard some of them advocate forcing the girl to go back to her family, most likely to get raped again by her stepfather.

    I hate those people. L

  5. Carol Lynn says

    Adoption is the answer? Really? The foster care system ran out of children already waiting to be adopted? Just what we need: more children in ‘the system’ waiting for ‘forever’ parents.

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