Monday, January 04, 2010

on the unintended consequences of bad policy and parental notifications

I don't think anything I write this year will compare to this post at Fugitivus:
Laws restricting access to medical services are laws restricting access to medical services. They are not laws creating family talks, better worlds, or moral teenagers. They are laws creating restrictions to medical services, which people do not seek unless they need them. Laws creating restrictions to medical services are laws creating restrictions to services people need and need desperately. You can argue that the lawmakers had some kind of noble intentions in mind — I will not buy it, but you can argue that. But you cannot argue that once the law has been in effect and created an inability to comply, and yet remained unchanged. If this was a law about notifying parents, it would have addressed how to notify parents. If this was a law about how to seek a bypass, it would have addressed how to seek a bypass. Since it didn’t address either of those things, this is obviously a law about something else. You only get one guess about what that something else is.
The whole post is long but powerful (especially her memory of what it's like to be on the street and needing to come up with plans b/c/d/e & f.  This section is almost enough to convince me that most policy discussions/solutions need to start with/come from the people who are actually experiencing what others are trying to legislate or control.  Everything else is just academic or intellectual bullshit meddling.)

Because of my job I've become aware that most legislators don't actually read finer points of policy implications for a new piece of legislation; they want the bullet points.  So we give it to them, probably to the detriment of thoughtful policy development.  Some of them ask for clarification but they appear to rely on instinct, some electoral soothe-saying, and a smattering of hope that the nit-picky administrative details will be resolved in committee while all they have to do is jump on as sponsor and then vote on it when it's called.

Well, unfortunately, the devil is in those very details they are likely to overlook.

We rely on our elected officials to take care of the public's trust but they are often too 'busy' (see how I give them the benefit of the doubt there?) to actually do it critically, or thoroughly.

Illinois' parental notification law survived a legal challenge and will be in place as of this year.  At least, that's what they tell us.  Think our bankrupt, overtaxed and janky state system will have a firm enough hand to enforce this badly constructed law?  I'm not holding my breath.

Meanwhile, the anti-woman/anti-choice faction has succeeded in building a wall separating young women in crisis from their legal access to a needed legal, medically-approved procedure.

Golf clap, frakkers.

1 comment:

liza said...


But really, "unintended" is letting them off too easy.