There can be few women in Michigan more qualified to talk about raising girls than Emily Scime. Just look at her family photograph. From left to right, that’s 9-year-old Francesca; 16-yearold Clara; 18-year-old Eleanor; 21-year-old Regina; and 10-year-old Josie. Five beautiful daughters. No wonder Mom and Dad, Sam, look so proud.
“In this day and age, it's difficult to raise daughters in a healthy, holy, and pure way. They are exposed to so many different things,” says Emily, who lives in Swartz Creek. “That’s why the influence of mom and dad can be so crucial — and why Sam and I strive so hard to be an active part of their lives and to be the formators, the guidance, the leadership and the love that they need, especially in difficult moments.”
Proposal 3 would revoke parental consent laws for abortions, allowing anybody to help teenage girls obtain abortions without their parents knowing.
Emily believes that idea is both legally unsound and pastorally dangerous.
“I think it's very normal that a daughter would be afraid to come home and tell her parents there's an unplanned pregnancy, especially if the first reaction may not be the most joyful,” Emily suggests. “But in the long run, parents are the ones who are going to make the best decisions for their children, who know their child the best, and who will lovingly and skillfully guide them, walk beside them and accompany them through life.
“On the other hand, a school counselor or a doctor — though well-intentioned — may not have the child's best interests at heart, may or may not be willing to be there day after day, no matter what the consequences of your child's choices might be. A parent's going to always be there.”
Then there’s the legal issue. Nine-year-old Francesca and 10-year-old Josie attend Holy Family School in Grand Blanc. Clara, age 16, is a student at Powers Catholic High School in Flint. If either school wishes to administer as much as a Tylenol to the girls, Emily or Sam have to give signed parental approval. That’s the law of Michigan.
“And yet, incredibly, this proposed amendment to Michigan’s constitution is asking us to accept that our child could go to a school counselor, or someone else, who can then help them procure something as life-changing as an abortion without parents even knowing,” says Emily, “I just don't understand how you can ask parents for consent for a Tylenol but not for an abortion?
“That’s when a mother or a father needs to be there, to be the one to say: ‘I understand. I know it's hard but I will be here for you. I will not leave you. I will not abandon you.’”