My friend and fellow blogger pointed me in the direction of this video by a 12 year old girl explaining her opposition to abortion. It looks like a school project where she either practiced using the video equipment or turned in her project on video. Go watch it and then come back.
While the content of the girl’s argument is sound and I personally agree with her perspective, my meta issue is the fact that she’s 12, a child herself. The video crawled all over me as a parent. Just as the kids made to sing Obama songs, pay fealty to Obama’s image in school, or in my daughter’s case, come home with homework that required her to describe a change she was going to make (this was a ready-made work-sheet by the way) in honor of Barack Obama’s presidential win, exploits a child ideologically, having a child discuss abortion and then post it on the internet seems…wrong.
A child under the age of 18 cannot enter a contract because he is not “of age”. That is, a person entering a contract must understand the provisions in the contract in order to be held to it. Likewise, a 12 year old child may have the moral clarity to feel a certain way about a topic, but does he have the understanding to comprehend the long-term consequences of having those opinions aired publicly?
This is, no doubt, a gray area. I immediately call to mind child actors, musicians, etc. Children can be mature and wise and change the world for the positive. Lots of kids have started charities, written books, etc.
What do you think?