May 20, 2005

What's Good For The Goose Is Good For the Gander

Good For Her.

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) -- A pregnant student who was banned from graduation at her Roman Catholic high school announced her own name and walked across the stage anyway at the close of the program.

Alysha Cosby's decision prompted cheers and applause Tuesday from many of her fellow seniors at St. Jude Educational Institute.

But her mother and aunt were escorted out of the church by police after Cosby headed back to her seat.

{...}The father of Cosby's child, also a senior at the school, was allowed to participate in graduation.

{my emphasis}

Adrianne, who it seems is finally done with her thesis, says:

{...}You can fight abortion, and you can fight unwed motherhood,* but at some point (for example, the point after conception) you're going to have to choose which one is worse. Even making equal punishments for each doesn't actually work for impartial condemnation of each; as it's much easier to have an abortion without anyone knowing about it than to carry a child to term and give birth without anyone knowing about it, a pregnant girl faced with a specific punishment has the option of choosing birth and certain punishment or abortion and punishment only if discovered. And, unless I am mistaken, while traditional Catholic teaching does not approve of unwed motherhood (nor the behavior that led to it), after the fact they prefer it to abortion. Practices such as kicking pregnant girls out of school (not quite what they did in this case) and firing single mothers and potential single mothers, while they'll keep your school or company cosmetically pure-looking, will have the effect of encouraging abortion over illegitimacy. {...}

I wholeheartedly agree.

I know I have related this story before, but you'll forgive me if I choose not to spend time trolling around the archives looking for it. It's a pretty simple one: most of you will know that I went to Catholic school for twelve years. Eight years were spent at a co-ed parish grade school, and high school was an all-girls school. The policy was quite simple at the high school: if you became pregnant, you were kicked out. No appeals were allowed. Interestingly enough, to prove Adrianne's point, there was this one girl in my class who, toward the end of senior year, became pregnant and procured for herself an abortion by asking her friends to chip in and pay for it---even though she could well afford to pay for it out of her own pocket. (She didn't want her parents to find out and they would have if she hadn't spent her allowance on clothes. I know. Rough life. Guess what? I went to a school that had plenty of spoiled little girls. Go figure.) The only adverse effect she suffered was that word spread to the boys' school down the road and she couldn't find a prom date to save her life.

I still have a very hard time with this one. This rich bitch admitted, point blank, that she'd had an abortion, but no one ratted on her because a. she would deny it to the administration and b. her parents were big donors to the school, so it would be unlikely that anything would happen anyway. Plenty of wonderful, deserving girls were booted from that school, and one rich bitch got away with it and never had to pay a penalty for her behavior. I'm sure I could call up my niece---who now attends this same school---and ask her if the policy is still the same, but I suspect it is.

Moreover, the fathers of these babies were never held accountable for their actions by their respective schools. When a girl was kicked out of school, there was never a reciprocal booting at the boys' school down the road. It's a double standard that it seems is still in practice today, given the father of this girl's child was allowed to take part in graduation, rather than being banned, like she was.

I can completely understand about the setting of an example. Of having a zero-tolerance policy. Yet, let's be honest about one thing: it takes two to tango. If you're not holding the father to the same degree of responsibility that you hold the mother---particularly in this instance---what sort of example does that send to other young men? It cuts both ways. Just because you don't have irrefutable proof of his actions in the form of an expanded belly does not mean he is not culpable. In this day and age, when everyone is bleating on ad nauseam about how society is going down the crapper because of same-sex marriage, the divorce rate, the everpresent evil that is abortion, single parents, etc. one would think that it would be a good thing to be consistent and apply condemnation equally, instead of simply resorting to age-old attitudes that have never worked.

One of the reasons I always thought it was very unfair the girls were kicked out was because, while the babies were the result of premarital sex, the school seemingly ignored that these girls were nonetheless respecting the doctrine of life by seeing the pregnancies through. Their actions in this respect, to my mind at least, should have been celebrated and held up as an example of what to do should you find yourself in this situation. But it never was. The premarital sex thing was apparently the more important lesson to teach of the two. They just seemed to assume no Catholic girl would ever go and get an abortion.

Well, they were wrong, weren't they?

Posted by Kathy at May 20, 2005 12:51 AM

Kathy, I agree--better the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: lMC at May 20, 2005 08:41 PM
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