About a month ago I wrote a letter to the editor of Foster’s Daily Democrat (Dover, NH). based on an earlier blog. It was was published today–and well worth repeating.
Fosters Daily Democrat, March 13, 2007
Wendelboe and Woods inconsistent
To the editor:
Rep. Fran Wendelboe and former state Rep. Phyllis Woods have gotten their socks in a bunch over HB 184. The bill would repeal the state’s 2003 parental notification law that requires doctors to notify at least one parent 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor.
The other day the two Republicans tried to pull the notification law out of the dumpster, insisting that parents need a right to a “say” in their minor daughter’s decision to undergo an abortion.
Woods claimed parental notification is a compelling state interest necessary to protect “minors against their own immaturity.”
In her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Wendelboe favored “good medical care for our daughters” and groused that minors “can’t get a tattoo or even an aspirin from the school nurse, but they can have a secret medical procedure without their parents’ knowledge.”
Wendelboe and Woods weren’t always so concerned about immature decisions, parental notification, and good medical care for New Hampshire’s daughters.
In 2003, while they were busy saving fetuses, Woods sponsored, and Wendelboe backed, HB 104, the New Hampshire safe haven newborn abandonment law that encourages teenagers to hide pregnancies from their parents, forgo prenatal care, give birth alone and in secret, and then anonymously drop-off their newborns at a hospital, fire or police station, or even a church with no questions asked — and return home to mom and dad as if nothing has happened.
What kind of twisted legal system requires a teenager to inform her parents if she wants to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, but encourages her to keep that same unwanted pregnancy a secret, carry to term, give birth alone and dangerously, and anonymously abandon her baby?
If Wendelboe and Woods are genuinely dedicated to parental notification and good medical care, they should demand that their safe haven law be repealed immediately. After all, don’t parents have a right to a “say” in their minor daughters’ reproductive decisions?
Marley Elizabeth Greiner
Editor’s note: Bastard Nation is an adoptee rights organization that opposes safe haven laws.
NOTE: Woods and Wendelbow were vocal opponents of SB 335 which restored the right of New Hampshire’s adoptees to access their original birth certificates.