The question, “should abortion for underage children require consent?” always brings about a heated debate. Issues such as parental responsibility, parental disengagement, parent-child relationships, abortion as an immoral choice and a child’s right to medical care are all hot topics and in effect, get the community nowhere fast. No other medical treatment creates such a paralyzing firestorm of debate.
How is it a state can offer a child an abortion without a parent’s consent, but the same child has to be eighteen to buy a particular brand of over the counter cold medicine? Pharmacies are required to get a parent’s signature before releasing a prescribed controlled substance to a child and public schools are required to have a parent’s written approval on file before handing out a couple of aspirin to a underage student.
In many states, tattoo artists are not allowed to practice their craft on any person under the age of eighteen, without a parent’s consent. In South Carolina, a person can drink at eighteen but must wait until their twenty-first birthday before they can be tattooed. Additionally, a majority of states require a parent’s signature for any persons under the age of eighteen that are getting their ears pierced. But, proponents of abortion contend a minor female should be allowed to get an abortion without a parent’s consent.
Abortion is a medical treatment made legally available to the female patient for an infinite number of reasons. It is, in it’s simplest of terms, an invasive medical treatment. While groups that profit from these procedures will play down the risks and dangers involved, there are complications that can be expected with such procedures.
Infection is a risk. A negative reaction to drugs and anesthesia is a risk. A life time of sterility is a risk and last but not least, one very important and irreversible risk – death. How is a child, that has obviously made one bad choice, expected to responsibly chose the next course of action? How is a parent or guardian expected to deal responsibly with the unexpected complications if they are not properly informed of the procedure ahead of time?
Before any invasive medical treatment is preformed on a patient, the medical community, by law, is required to collect all pertinent information and present all the risks and dangers inherent in such procedures. If the patient is not capable of understanding all these risks and dangers, most states, in order to the protect the patient, require that a parent or guardian by advised of all the risks and dangerous possibilities and then sign a consent form. Tonsillectomies, appendectomies and vaccinations are all considered invasive medical treatments and all require a parent or guardian’s signature.
History has proven, time and time again, that any group or persons, political or otherwise, that have attempted to disrupt or interfere with the parent child relationship – usually citing the child’s rights or best interests – most often had ulterior motives. Is there any other medical procedure where a profit may be turned by selling harvested parts to research or medical schools?
It seems the abortion clinic may have more at stake than the patient’s best interest and this fact alone creates a serious conflict of interest. Political groups such as Planned Parenthood receive money for advocating abortion, which, again, creates a major conflict of interest. So, who is to be trusted with the child’s best interest? In any other medically invasive procedure, it is and has always been the parent or guardian that needed to give consent and so should it be, with the decision to have an abortion.