The US has the highest teen pregnancy rates in the industrialized world. As you can see in the charts, the differences are stark. Yes, we do need more education and yes we do need more parental guidance. But if the teen decides to get an abortion, should she need parental consent as she is underage? Such consent is mandatory in 24 US. Most of the statutes apply to girls younger than 18 and provide for a court bypass procedure in case the girl is not able to involve her parents. Also most statutes include exceptions for medical emergencies.
On the one hand, supporters of the “required consent” camp, say that abortion is a form of medical procedure and as such parental consent should be required. The same way that parental consent is required for ear piercing, tattoos and appendectomies. Moreover, parents have the right to know what’s going on with their children’s lives. And others add that there is always the possibility that when parents find out, may offer support and long term help and thus avert the abortion.
Not so, the opponents of the measure assert. Parental consent is not legally required to have a baby. Why should it be different with the decision not to have one? And although parents may have the right to know what’s going on with their kids’ lives, what happens when the girl chooses abortion and the parents oppose it? Whose will should prevail? And don’t we make things worse –they ask- when we postpone the abortion by requiring an extra legal process to take place?
For the requirements in every state, you may go here You will see that some states have chosen a mid-solution. They require “parent notification.” If you are under 18, you have to tell your parents but you don’t need their consent.
What are your thoughts on the parental consent requirement?