Monday, October 10, 2011

Cognitive Dissonance [Scott]

In California, you can't get a tan if you are under 18 but you can get an abortion without parental consent.


  1. There's nothing inconsistent about this position. Tanning leads to skin cancer. On the other hand, for a pregnant teenage girl, abortion is an extremely smart choice. Consider the following from Ted Rall:

    Anyone who went to high school knew a student couple where the girl became pregnant. What the unlucky couple decided to do about it would determine their future. The girls who had abortions went on with their lives. They graduated from high school and, if they were headed that way before the dipstick turned pink, continued with college and careers and all the other stuff young people are supposed to go on to do.

    Then there were the girls who kept their babies. With few exceptions — I’ve never heard of any, but I imagine they exist — it was the wrong decision. Their lives were ruined. Many never graduated from high school, much less college. Their futures were grim: low educational attainment doomed them to dead-end jobs in the low-wage service sector. Married too young and under pressure, most wound up divorced. Many never remarried, or married stepfathers who barely tolerated their children. Their kids, raised in poverty in families led by single, stressed-out young moms, were themselves likely to repeat the cycle of downward mobility by getting pregnant in their teens.

    Unfortunately even pro-choice liberals are afraid to speak the truth: Teen marriage and parenthood are disasters for everyone concerned. Teen moms are more than twice as likely to drop out of high school. Teen brides are 10 times more likely to plunge into poverty. When teenage girls become pregnant, eight out of 10 of the fathers never marry them. A 2002 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that 59 percent of couples who marry before age 18 split up within 15 years. A 1993 study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation determined that only 8 percent of women who finished high school, married before having a child, and married after age 20 became poor. Seventy-nine percent of women who didn’t do these things wound up poor.

  2. Michael, Your reply is question-begging. That is, only by assuming the unborn are not human does it make any sense whatsoever. Would you make this same claim for benefiting teens if the debate were over killing toddlers to ease socio-economic problems?

  3. Michael gives good reasons not get pregnant. These are not good reasons to kill the innocent through abortion.

  4. Regardless of what one thinks of the status of the fetus, can't we all agree that a teenage girl has a full right to know the consequences of her decision to go through a full pregnancy or abort? Even if we allow her the choice to get a tan, we certainly would want her to know the consequences of skin cancer, right? I personally would have no problem that pregnant high schoolers must be legally informed about the fetus itself (i.e. a picture at the current stage of development, and any facts like DNA, heart beat, brain waves, fingers, etc). I would just also ask that she must also be informed of the social and economic consequences of giving birth to a baby in high school. I know someone who deals with expecting teenage mothers, and almost all of them are flagrantly naive about their futures.

    Incidentally, I can certainly understand how someone can think the tanning bed law is strange. A teenage girl is free to get pregnant and ruin her life, but she can't get a tan because there's a remote chance of skin cancer many years later, (which in general is treatable)? I'm reminded of how 18 year old men can be drafted or join the military voluntarily, but can't drink alcohol.


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