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Parenting 101

Philadelphia Magazine includes a monthly column called "Loco Parentis" in which writer Sandy Hingston describes the trials and tribs of raising kids these days. In the current (Dec. 2004) issue Ms. Hingston complains that her daughter, who apparently agrees with most of her mother's opinions, just doesn't GET that abortion is OK. Her arguments fall on deaf ears, she says. The daughter continues to insist that a fetus is a baby and it's not okay to kill a baby.

"I've pointed out how the rich white men who run this country wish to hell we were still stuck back in 1950, and don't want women to be educated or intelligent or empowered in any way."

As is always the case when I read statements like this, I am stunned that an educated person would spout such nonsense. Does she really believe this? Or is she just repeating the feminist movement's 40 year old talking points in order to get her kid to see the light?

Regardless, the arguments fail. As a last resort, Mom decides to level with the kid about the abortion she had when she was in college. In other words, she tells her daughter, who believes that abortion is the killing of a baby, that she aborted the girl's half-sibling.

I've never had an abortion -- or even a miscarriage -- but I understand it is common in either situation to be haunted (or at least occasionally bothered) by thoughts of what might have been. So wouldn't you expect a teenager to experience similar feelings upon learning that her mother had terminated a pregnancy?

Wouldn't she likely wonder what kind of person that sibling would have turned out to be and feel a sense of loss because she will never know him or her? Perhaps she would also feel guilty, knowing that she would not be alive today if her mother had taken a different path (and given birth to that other child) years earlier.

Was it that important, Ms. Hingston, that your NON-pregnant teenage daughter agree with your position on abortion? Did she really need to hear that story at her age?

iTunes is currently playing: Real Emotional Girl from the album Guilty: 30 Years Of Randy Newman by Randy Newman.