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Conservatives: Knocking Up Teen Girls One Law at a Time

October 9, 2006

Conservatives and anti-choicers sure must love pregnant teen girls. Because it seems that they’re trying to create more of them at every turn.

Luckily for younger women, pro-choice senators recently blocked the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA) from moving forward. CIANA, introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and cosponsored by a mess load of Republicans, makes it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines to get an abortion. Even if it’s a grandmother, aunt, or other trusted adult helping a teen girl who can’t tell her parents–sorry, off to prison with you. (My co-blogger likes to call it the Teen Endangerment & Grandmother Incarceration Act.)

While this is undoubtedly a victory, CIANA was just one step in a massive anti-choice push to limit young women’s reproductive rights–all under the rhetoric of “protection.” (From ourselves, apparently.)

We’re protected from the truth about sex.

Abstinence-only education ensures that we won’t learn about icky things like condoms, safer sex and, you know, responsibility. (Better that we learn to remain pure for our husband so he’s not left with a deflowered harlot.)

We’re protected from dangerous teen sex cults.

Though the FDA has approved over-the-counter access to emergency contraception, it will only be available to women over 18 years old. The reasoning? Teen girls will go all slutty if they have the option of not becoming pregnant, and may even form “sex-based cults” using the drug. Thank goodness we have the clear thinkers at the FDA to shelter us from the sex storm.

We’re protected from ourselves.

Cause we’re not smart enough to decide for ourselves. Teen girls–while they make fantastic mothers–just don’t have the wherewithal to decide not to have a kid. Best that they have to jump through hoops or risk abuse at home than have access to abortion.

With every law, every obstacle, and every stigma that conservatives attach to reproductive rights–they’re getting another teen girl pregnant.

Clearly it’s not just younger women that are under attack. Women of all ages are being denied their legal right to control their bodies every day. But shrouded under paternalistic language about protecting children, it’s younger women that are bearing the brunt of the anti-choice agenda. Young women need protecting all right, but not from themselves.

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