Editorial: "More Questions than Answers"

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama State Representative Mac McCutcheon said he's reworking a controversial bill that failed to pass this year. McCutcheon said he wants Alabama to raise its age of consent for sexual acts from 16 to 18 years of age. That would put Alabama on par with Tennessee, Virginia, Florida and eight other states. McCutcheon has argued 16-year-olds do not have a full grasp of the consequences of having sex.

Anyone looking back at their own life should agree that when you were 16 years old you thought you had all the answers.  Now that you are older, wiser and have felt the sting of bad decisions you now realize you most definitely did not.  This law, if passed in the next year's session, would to a certain degree legislate morality.  The government would have decided for all young Alabamians what an appropriate age for sexual relations should be – in this case no younger than 18.

There are a number of questions to be considered before the unintended consequences of such a law were enacted.  Do you want the government defining what is appropriate? Do you want to make felons out of teenagers that are going to do what they want anyway?  Will this law curb teen pregnancy?  Will it deter statutory rape? Will disgruntled girlfriends/boyfriends use this law as a weapon if the relationship sours?

We are interested in your thoughts and encourage you to respond on wsfa.com or on the wsfa facebook post.  I will share your thoughts in an editorial next week.

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