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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

By this point I think most everyone, interested in the subject of the beginnings of human life or not, has read this horrible story. A 17 year old girl wanted to get rid of her baby mid-term and when jogging and "hitting herself" didn't induce a miscarriage she enlisted the aid of her boyfriend who "stepped on her stomach several times". Regardless of your political affiliation this is horrible.

Why wasn't the 19 year old boyfriend jailed for statuatory rape? 17 and 19 year olds are, for the most part, not capable of making good decisions. That's why laws such as statuatory rape are in place. If it's true that the brain isn't developed until age 25 then we as a society need to take greater steps to do SOMETHING when this happens that the result is not assault-by-request. Whether the answer is abortion or counseling...whatever, I'm sure this case is not an isolated incident and that's scary. I'll save this for another post but at some point we need to be responsible for our actions and finding out your 16/17 year old daughter is having a baby means you (Dad and/or Mom) were not doing your job.

I don't think it's statutory rape unless the girl's under 16. But then different states have different laws. I think Texas is still 18.

The story you cite is horrible. I wonder why the girl did not go to her parents for help? Maybe she was afraid of their reaction. Maybe she had good reason to be, maybe not.

Rather than blame the parents of every teenaged girl who gets pregnant (I take it you do not have children?), it might be more productive to blame the parents that so many of these young girls are afraid to talk to. They're the real culprits in my book. If a child is too afraid to come to her mother or father when she's in trouble, then that mother and father might want to rethink how they're raising their children.
In Texas the age is 17 so I speculated she might have been pregnant at least for a little while beforehand.

It really is a horrible story and we need to blame someone(s). My girlfriend works in the psychiatric ward of a local hospital as a social worker and she is in definite agreement that a lot of the time the parents are presenting a hostile enviornment in the house; leading kids to make these decisions without consultation.

So what do we do to make it stop? Train parents how to deal with rearing their children? Would the people that need it the most even go? I somehow doubt it. Even if they would is there enough outreach to get to them? How many would construe it as "You don't know how to raise your kids" and walk out after some choice words?

This is especially relevent in Florida since we just recently voted on the Parental Notification bill. If this girl could have had a safe abortion, even late term, without her parents knowing wouldn't that be infinitely better that what she did?
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