- The Washington Times - Monday, September 10, 2001

If you don't believe the American family is under siege by some very powerful forces, please continue reading. The American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and some powerful politicians — most notably Hillary Clinton — are on a jihad to pass laws allowing underage girls to have abortions without parental consent.
The ACLU took out a full-page ad in the New York Times, basically saying that without such a law, underage girls will harm themselves in their quest to get rid of unwanted babies. And there is some truth to that. Some troubled teen-agers who are afraid of parental reaction will take desperate measures.
But a sane society does not undermine the authority of parents by inserting laws allowing children to make complex decisions on their own. That is not harm reduction, that will cause familial chaos. I mean, how crazy is this? In many places a minor can't get his or her ears pierced without parental consent. But an underage girl can get an abortion on her own? It's outrageous.
A few days ago, I received a letter from Carol, a mother living in Idaho who is absolutely distraught. "A pro-choice agency created an opportunity for our teen-age daughter to have an abortion without our consent. The only way we found out is that someone called the house to ask how she was feeling. The organization did not speak with us and did not give us a chance to counsel our daughter and tell her how much we love her. You destroy a nation when you destroy family accountability."
In my years as a journalist, I have seen many wrongheaded attempts to impose laws but none as dangerous as allowing minors to have abortions without telling their folks. Just think about it. The kid comes home after the procedure and everything is back to normal? She doesn't have any emotional residue? What happens if she has psychological problems because of the abortion? Or physical problems? And her parents and siblings have no idea what's going on. How cruel and destructive is that?
There comes a time in every society when good people have to rise up and protect the greater good. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood cannot defend the collateral damage done to the family when a kid has a secret abortion, so instead they try to make it a "body" issue. The girl has a right to "control her body."
So following that line of reasoning, any kid in America can have sex with any adult. No wonder the ACLU is defending the North American Man-Boy Love Association in a Massachusetts lawsuit.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, New York Democrat, is a strong proponent of kids being able to get secret abortions. Of course, Mrs. Clinton does not answer questions about her positions, so it is impossible to know how she justifies her stance. But I believe the overwhelming majority of American parents see the drastic threat that any legislation of this kind poses to the family. If the government takes away the rights of parents to control their children's actions, we are finished as an independent society. I don't know about you, but I don't want some judge telling me my young daughter can have a procedure that may drastically change her life without my knowing about it. Call me crazy.
The forces of darkness that want to allow kids to have secret abortions are not evil people, in my judgment. Their logic is based on trying to protect abused children and kids who are desperate. But society does provide safety nets for these kids in the form of school counselors, religious clergy and social services. There are also attorneys who represent children pro bono. You cannot save every kid, of course, but to undermine parental authority for the sake of a relatively few kids in trouble will cause society enormous problems down the road.
It is tough enough these days for parents to teach morality to their kids. Children see and hear things at a young age that are impossible for them to understand. Many educators want to teach homosexuality to fourth graders. They want to explain condoms to sixth graders. They want individual teachers to give their "takes" on sex, drugs, and rock and roll. And forget about popular culture — it would make the citizens of Sodom smile.
So now parents have to deal with yet another threat. But this one is much more powerful than video games, permissive educators or trashy movies. This threat sits there in a black robe and tells you what is legal and what is not. And if things progress much further, this threat will be telling your underage daughter that she can ignore you and see a doctor who will alter her life forever. The stage has been set — all that's left is for the script to be written.

Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and a nationally syndicated columnist.

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