In the majority of cases, underage children should be required by way of law to have parental consent. Underage children can not vote, drink, drive or do many things that adults have the right to do. So, when it comes to maybe the most important decision a person can take, how can these minors be classed as mature and responsible enough to choose solely for themselves.
It is a sad fact that many youngsters, some not even in their teen years, are experimenting with sex. The taboo aspect combined with social pressures from peers, drives many children toward this adult pastime. A child is unaware of the reality that exists concerning pregnancy. They do not commit to sexual intercourse thinking that there may be a slim chance that they could become pregnant. Sadly, many of these young experimenters fall pregnant and childhood becomes a distant memory.
The child who falls pregnant will fear the wrath of their parents for letting themselves fall pregnant. Deep inside, they know what they have done is wrong and are deeply ashamed. The child will want to rectify the mistake as quickly and quietly as possible and secret abortion seems like a very attractive option to them. No thought is given to the impact that such a hasty decision will have on the rest of their lives, just the immediate problem of correcting their mistake. They may regret abortion until their own death, guilt and remorse will plague the wiser and older person they have evolved into. How can this choice be left solely to a minor who is not even eligible to vote yet?
The abortion clinics should demand parental consent and interaction before considering termination. The parent, after all is said and done, takes legal responsibility for every other aspect of their child’s life, so this should be no different. Of course, extreme situations will arise where the child could be in physical danger from their legal guardian if they are told of the pregnancy. Unfortunately, violent parents do exist in our societies and children need to be protected from them at all costs. This is where a watchdog committee would be beneficial. The committee would be able to assume legal responsibility with regards to consent for abortion if there was even the remotest probability of physical reprisal being administered toward the young mother by their parent or guardian.
Sexual awareness is gathering greater audiences amongst our schools. The message of safe sex is being told to even the youngest of high school students in hope that they will not fall pregnant at such a young age. A worrying trend that was shown recently though shows that teens who are sexually active are not listening to the contraceptive message. They are willing to gamble with their lives as to who will and will not fall pregnant, and the unfortunate losers in this game of chance ultimately lose their childhood which can never be reclaimed again.