Parental Consent for Underage Abortions – Yes

Any teenage girl discovering she is pregnant is terribly vulnerable, frightened and absolutely terrified of what her parents are going to say. In this kind of mental state, can anyone honestly say that a young girl, not yet sixteen, is capable of making such a profound decision alone, as terminating a pregnancy? Keeping it a secret from her parents and bearing the burden of living with that secret without it having a terribly damaging effect on her psyche?

Such an operation, as abortion involves, should not be carried out without parental consent, not only because all parents should have the right to know of any surgical procedure being carried out on their beloved child, and about any drugs administered, but also because they have a right to be involved in such an important decision and, parents and children in a mature, loving family atmosphere should be able to work out the best decision to be made, rather than having their child being “persuaded” to “get rid of it”, because of fear and pressure, especially if the underage teenager is convinced that by having an abortion her parents would never find out she was pregnant in the first place.

At fourteen or fifteen a girl has the whole world in front of her and having a baby to care for may well severely limit her chances for going on to further education and making a good career for herself. She is also usually nowhere near mature enough to be a mother to a demanding baby and toddler, when she is so young herself, and no young girl of today should ever be thinking of settling down and living with or marrying a partner at sixteen.

Even so, the parents of that teenage girl, have a right to be involved in the decision. If the family are sure that a new baby would be most unwelcome, then an abortion may be the best option, but parents must be allowed to help their teenager to come to the right decision and to choose whether or not they would be prepared to support their daughter by helping her to bring up their grandchild, allowing her the freedom to pursue her education and achieve her goals for her future career. How can they make that choice if they are not even permitted to know that their daughter was pregnant in the first place?

Not only underage teenage girls, but all single teenage girls, finding themselves in such a predicament, need someone to confide in, to seek advice from and to ask for help from, preferably from parents, close family or friends. Parents in turn need to make sure that their top priority is their daughter’s welfare and not what the neighbours may say. This is not the time for recriminations or judgement, after all we all want our children to trust us enough to be able to turn to us when they are in trouble. This is a situation that could happen to any one of us who are parents of teenagers.