Get your facts straight and your thinking right

In his June 3 (UP 32) UP opinion piece, “Byrd trying fly north in November while civil rights go south in Florida,” Dan Restrepo launched a passionate attack on the political/social policies of senate hopeful Johnnie Byrd. Restrepo’s gripe with Byrd was in regards to Byrd’s sponsorship of Florida’s Defense of Marriage Act, and his support of the Parental Notice Amendment. In fact, Restrepo called Byrd a “threat to civil rights.” Grouping abortion and homosexual “rights” legislation with desegregation legislation, Restrepo asked for an explanation as to why it is fair that one group of people can decide on the rights of another group.

Paying due note to this question’s irony, which Restrepo has missed, let me explain to him how and why his statements are foolhardy and (in some cases) misleading. Firstly, Mr. Restrepo, the issues of segregation, abortion and homosexuality are not about who decide the rights of others, but about what is right and good for society. The rights of sexual offenders are taken away by non-offenders, and rightfully so, because these persons pose a risk to society. Segregation was immoral, because it is wrong to oppress the weaker, whether they are of a different skin color or not.

Abortion, on the other hand, is about a person claiming the “right” to take the life of an unborn child. Herein lies the irony of Mr. Restrepo’s question. While claiming that it is unfair for others to decide on women’s rights, he clearly supports the concept of a woman deciding the rights of her unborn child. That is hypocrisy.

Additionally, your claim that “the Parental Notice Amendment … would force women under 18 to get their parent’s consent if they want an abortion” and takes away the rights of children, is misleading and false. The Amendment requires that parents be notified of their minor daughter’s abortion, not that they give their consent. It also allows for exceptions, such as incest and abusive home environments. Incidentally, state law mandates that parents give consent for their child to use medication in schools or get a tattoo. It is quite fair for them to be aware of a medical procedure being performed on their daughter.

Beyond that, Mr. Retrepo’s claim betrays his ignorance of or unwillingness to seriously consider the psychological, medical and social implications of a minor obtaining an abortion without her parents’ knowledge. Perhaps he is so ideologically skewed that he refuses to consider those implications contradicting his perspective.

A similar skew has influenced his view of the DOMA. I encourage you, sir, to think about what you are saying before you call people who defend parents’ rights and the sacredness of marriage “a threat to civil rights.”

Soli Deo Gloria!Gregory Maxwell