Culture

Tax-Funded Sterilizations for Teenagers (No Parental Consent Required?)

The Winston-Salem Journal published a series of stories about forced sterilizations performed years ago in North Carolina. Other states had similar programs, but most retreated in light of Nazi Germany’s notorious eugenics policies. North Carolina, however, expanded its program after WWII and didn’t end it until 1974.

Elaine Riddick Jessie, now in her late 50s, was sterilized at 14 in 1968. She and her seven siblings had become wards of the state, and five were sent to an orphanage. Jessie and a sister were sent to live in their grandmother’s crowded house. A man raped Jessie, and she became pregnant. Fortunately, the state didn’t kill the baby. Unfortunately, the state labeled the abused Jessie “feeble-minded” and killed her chance to have more babies. Her illiterate grandmother had signed an “X” on the sterilization consent form without knowing she was signing a sterilization consent form. Jessie didn’t find out until years later she was sterilized.

The North Carolina Eugenics Board sterilized over 7,600 people from 1929 to 1974, and 2,990 ranged in age from 10 to 19. But those days are behind us, right? Yes, and no. The days of forced sterilizations likely are long gone, and good riddance. But the days of minors “consenting” to sterilizations are upon us.

President Barack Obama believes pregnant minors should be allowed to have their unborn babies killed without their parents’ consent. The man who stated he was going to teach his daughters “all about values and morals” also said he wouldn’t want them to be punished with his grandchild “if they make a mistake.” What about sterilization? Would he want his teenage daughter to have herself rendered infertile?

A story on CNSNews goes into detail about an Obamacare regulation that took effect on August 1 that requires health care plans in the U.S. to provide taxpayer-funded (or free, in liberal terminology) contraceptive methods that include sterilization “for women with reproductive capacity.”

Because the recommendation doesn’t specify age, it theoretically could apply to any menstruating girl. CNSNews learned that Oregon allows a minor to consent to sterilization. In that state, a 15-year-old girl can give her “informed consent” to allowing a doctor to render her permanently barren. Whether her parents approve or not has no bearing on her choice.

Think of the average teenager and imagine the scenario. A 15-year-old girl who’s perhaps mature for a 15-year-old girl (benefit of the doubt) decides for whatever reason she never wants to be “punished” with a baby, or that she wants to have sex without worrying about getting pregnant right now. She brings her mature-for-a-15-year-old self to the doctor, tells him/her she wants to be barren, reads and signs the consent form, and has the surgery. Ten years later and more mature, she marries and desperately wants children but must bear the consequences of an “informed” decision she made as a 15-year-old girl. It’s appalling.

In Oregon, a 15-year-old cannot obtain a driver’s license or legally drink alcohol, but she can ask a doctor to make her infertile. In Oregon, a 15-year-old cannot consent to sex, but she can consent to a procedure that will ensure she won’t get pregnant. Ever.

CNSNews asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi about the regulation:

“You mentioned the preventive services mandate. One of the services that health care plans have to offer free of charge are sterilizations. And I was wondering do you agree with the federal government mandating—”

Pelosi said: “You know what, I told you before, let’s go to church and talk about our religion…Right here we’re talking about public policy as it affects women and we’re not, you know that this bill is—”

CNSNews.com asked: “No, it has nothing to do with the religious views but do you—”

Pelosi said: “No, it does.”

Pelosi stuck to the allowing “women to determine the size and timing of their families” script. CNSNews later asked Pelosi a clear, euphemism-free question: “Do you support the regulation taking affect August 1 requiring all health plans to cover free sterilizations for teenage girls?”

What was Pelosi’s response? That she didn’t like the questioner’s characterization of the regulation—the true characterization that taxpayers could end up paying for the sterilization of 15-year-olds in Oregon who can’t drive a car without a licensed driver 21 or older sitting beside them.

I would hope doctors in states with under-18 age of consent laws for sterilization go out of their way to convince these girls not to do this to themselves. While I don’t envision alarming rates of teenage sterilization procedures, the point is there’s a regulation on the books that requires taxpayers to foot the bill for such an atrocious procedure. One unscrupulous doctor taking away a girl’s God-given privilege to bear children when she matures and marries is one too many.

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Thumbnail and illustration courtesy shutterstock / newphotoservice