Should Abortion for Underage Children Require Parental Consent – Yes

Except in rare cases, for example when incest might be involved, doctors should be required to obtain parental consent in the case of a minor child. Another exception would be in the case of a so-called “emancipated minor,” who has been granted that status by a judge and is deemed competent to make such decisions on her own. An emancipated minor, by the way, is usually at least 16 years of age.

So, confining our discussion to a minor child who becomes pregnant, and for whatever reason wants to hide her situation from her parents, medical authorities should, nevertheless, be required to contact the parents. Parents, by definition, are in a better position to behave in a manner in the best interests of the child. Perhaps, a full-term pregnancy and subsequent adoption might be appropriate. Perhaps, after a loving and carefully thought out decision, an abortion might be appropriate.

Here is another, tangential issue in the realm of teenage pregnancy and abortion. In just about every state in the Union, sexual intercourse with a minor is unlawful. Statutory rape occurs when a man past the age of 18 has sexual intercourse, with or without the consent of the underage girl. Parents need to be involved here so that the baby’s father can be identified, prosecuted if necessary, or be involved in the decision to abort if appropriate.

As a parent of a grown daughter, had my daughter gotten into the difficult situation of an unwanted pregnancy, I know that after the initial shock and disapproval, my love for my daughter would have resulted in understanding and forgiveness. Once the issue of pregnancy is dealt with, it would be time to consider the welfare of all concerned: the mother, the father, and most importantly the unborn child.

Those vital, stressful and long lasting decisions are best done with the help of loving, adult parents, not immature, panicky young girls.