Can we at least be consistent?

Published on June 8th, 2012

by Kathleen M. Gallagher

Yesterday the New York State Assembly  passed a bill that requires parental consent prior to the performance of body piercing on anyone under the age of 18. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said “it is important for a parent or guardian to be aware of all the potential risks associated with body piercing…” and the bill’s chief sponsor Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D – Queens) said his bill “will ensure that parents are aware of their son or daughter’s intent to receive a body piercing to prevent complications such as allergic reactions, skin infections or scarring.”  

The body piercing bill passed by a huge margin (133 to 3), with Democrats joining Republicans to protect children. Yet some of the same elected officials who voted for the bill — indeed, some of the same people who sponsor the bill – earlier in the week voted down a proposal to require parental notification prior to the performance of an abortion on anyone under the age of 18.  Do they not see the contradiction?  Do they not care about the complications, reactions, infections and scarring (both physical and emotional) that can result from the invasive surgery of abortion?  Do they not realize that while a nose ring can be removed, abortion cannot be undone, and the scars will linger? 

There was not one word of debate or discussion about the abortion parental notification bill prior to its defeat in the Assembly Health Committee this week. Not one word.  Thirty-seven states require either parental consent or notification prior to an abortion on a minor.  But not New York.  Here, abortion is such a sacred cow, you apparently can’t even talk about it.

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