Becky Bell. That’s her real name, and this is her real story:
“We were so dumb,“ said Karen Bell, 46. “We thought she had a flu and was being a baby. And here she was dying.“
On Sept. 16, 1988, Becky Bell died of what the Marion County coroner ruled was infection following an abortion and of pneumonia.
The Bells blame her death on Indiana`s law requiring girls under 18 to get a parent`s consent before getting an abortion.
They believe that, unwilling to confess to them that she was pregnant, she learned of someone willing to perform the abortion illegally at about 18 weeks` gestation.
In the aftermath of her death, the Bells have embarked on a nationwide crusade against laws requiring minors to get parental consent for an abortion. They have testified before state legislators in Indiana, Michigan, New York, Kansas and Wisconsin. In January, William Bell, 47, regional sales manager for a marketer of office equipment, addressed an abortion rights rally in Washington.
When Indiana legislators voted recently on whether to impose additional restrictions on an abortion bill, abortion rights supporters in the gallery wore buttons reading, “Remember Becky.“ The measure failed to pass.
“My daughter is not going to die for no reason,“ Bell said. “There`s going to be good coming out of it somehow.“
These stories, these teens, are the reason we must have a reasonable judicial bypass procedure in place until such a time as minors can access a full range of healthcare without input from courts, and with the input of their parents only if the minors themselves want it. Almost all of the time, they do. The danger comes when they don’t, but must get it, or need it, but can’t get it.