Should parents be notified before abortions? For what age?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2012
Should parents be notified before abortions? For what age?
4
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 3:44pm

I read the other day that the Senate will be considering a bill next week that would require a parent to be notified before a girl under the age of 18 received an abortion. I'm kind of torn on how I feel about this so I thought I'd throw it out there for discussion.

On one hand, I'm strongly pro-choice so my inclination is to be against any kind of limitations placed on this right. On the other hand, as a parent myself, I know that I would want to be notified before my daughter went through ANY kind of medical procedure (not just an abortion). However, I understand that not all parents would be as supportive so maybe a blanket requirement like this isn't the best idea. Thoughts?

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999

Some other moms and I were discussing this very issue a few weeks ago when one of the mom's daughters came home and told her one of her friends (whose 16) was going to the next state over with her boyfriend and his father to have an abortion because in the next state over she could get one without parental consent, but in her state, she had to be 17.  Our discussion was more both the morality of the BF"s father taking her across state lines to do this, and the legal aspect of that.  But we also discussed that in a perfect world our daughters would want to come to us with such big news and we would alway support the child regardless of the decision they made, but obviously, this isn't a perfect world. 

There are some states that require parental consent below 18, so that allow 16 and 17 year olds to have one without parental consent, and others that require parental notification, but not consent.  Having been through this decision at 17 years old, its a very dear subject to me.  I originally planned to have one when I got pregnant with ODD at 17.  My parents did not agree and support that decision and the law was 18 where we lived at the time.  I went to court and obtained permission from a judge to have it done, I was already out of high school and entering college at the time.  In the end I decided against it and am glad of that fact as I have lovely 17 year old daughter whose going off to college next fall also and is the light of my life, but at the time, it was a tremendous decision.  I am still very prochoice to this day, and want all my daughters to have the ability to make that decision for themselves, not for someone else to tell them they can or can't. 

But, back to the actual subject, I think that at least ages 16 and below there should be some sort of notification to the parent, if anything only for medical reasons because there can be both physical and emotional complications down the line.  But I do get that there are times and circumstances, especially in abuse situations, that there is a legitimate reason why the girl does not want the parents to know, and that's one of those hard parts that I don't know if there is an answer for. 

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

Notification is a device to enjoin the parents to oppose an abortion.  It really is not necessary.  Parents do not need to know everything.  Nor are all parents ready to face their daughter's sexuality. 

chaika

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999

xxxs wrote:
<p>Notification is a device to enjoin the parents to oppose an abortion.  It really is not necessary.  Parents do not need to know everything.  Nor are all parents ready to face their daughter's sexuality.  </p>

I don't necessarily agree with that.  Becuase its a medical procedure, just as we expect parents to be involved in and know of other major medical decisions, its important.  But at what age, I think is really the impression.  What happens if something happens because of the abortion procedure, an infection or something and the parents have no idea?  What happens if the girl opts to have the abortion that is taking the pills at home and not the removal in office and she has an allergic reaction or adverse side effects to those pills while at home?  I think that is one of the major concerns IMO of the purpose behind this language. 

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

  It still must be between patient and physician.   I suggest that the dynamics are too much for most families to deal with as in the US there is such a taboo and sexual discussion.  Her privacy is of utmost concern as after it is over then her life goes on.

chaika