Kids are not adults. Oh sure, they act like adults; however, until they reach the ripe age of 18, they are not at all legally adults. Until then, they live with certain restrictions. Until 18, kids are not able to get tattoos or body piercing without parental consent. They cannot drink or smoke. They are unable to miss school without parental consent. To undergo medical attention, parents must give consent as well. Kids cannot vote. They cannot be drafted. They cannot legally have consensual sex. They cannot, in most cases, even be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
And there are reasons for this. Minors, in many cases, simply don’t realize the impact of their decisions and it is this reason for which there are such restrictions. The argument is that they just don’t have the right combination of maturity and experience to be able to make logical and educated decisions when it comes to matters that involve things such as their bodies, their education and the law.
If it were not for these restrictions on minors, many 14-year-old kids very well could be walking around with the names of their 14-year-old sweethearts tattooed across their foreheads. Young kids could be hanging out at the Hooters downing hot wings and Heineken all afternoon because, instead of having a parent write their sick note, they wrote it themselves. They could then get it on in the Hooter’s bathroom with the 29-year-old manager, becoming pregnant with a child with underdeveloped lungs and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome from the mother’s pack-a-day cigarettes and 12-pack-a-day of beer. And then they could go out and vote for and elect our next president. Whew.
Yes, there are reasons that minors are not allowed to make major decisions for themselves and these very same reasons apply to the minors right to an abortion. Yet minors are still able to get an abortion without even so much as informing their parents or guardians. Interesting logic we have there.
Proposition 85 is out to change that. If implemented, the proposition would require that the parents of the minor having an abortion be informed of the procedure at least 48 hours in advance. The minor does not have to seek the consent of the parent or guardian; the guardian simply has to be informed.
Parents, in most cases, are going to know the needs and personality of their child better than many professionals and could help her to make the best and most informed decision regarding the pregnancy. Informing the parents about the abortion could also help prevent hemorrhage and infections, as well as other possibly fatal complications.
Besides, too many people already view abortion as a form of birth control. Some kids are just out there having sex and having abortions to clean up their dirty work. What they often do not realize is that an abortion greatly affects a woman’s ability to have children later on in life. They don’t take into consideration that abortions can bring many physical complications and they do not know about the often-horrifying psychological impact that terminating a pregnancy can have on a woman.
If they are to decide on an abortion, the least the physician can do is ensure that the parents know so that they can properly attend to the needs of their daughter. Whether the needs include implementing a more disciplined home environment, making sure she receives the medical attention she needs in the case of complications or even simply providing her with a shoulder to cry on when the due date of the baby rolls around and she feels the sting of her loss.
Granted, there are parents in this world who would not make themselves available to care for their daughters. Some parents would instead alienate the daughter out of shame or disappointment. Some parents may use it as an excuse to further abuse the girl. However, this is a small group of parents. Most parents do care and are not abusive. They may not be the best parents in the world, but most of them are trying. Besides, good or bad, these parents are still required to agree to let their kid get a piercing. They should have to be informed of their child’s abortion as well.
Proposition 85 involves parents where they need to be involved. It brings their attention to the daughter who, in many cases, is screaming for help and they just can’t hear it.
Really, parents are good for something. Unfortunately this, too, is something we don’t often realize as kids and then suddenly we are adults.