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Abortion And The Rights Of Minors

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Today, teenage abortion has become a complicated issue. We are faced with the decision of "WHO CHOOSES", the parent or their pregnant teenage daughter. While most parents are informed and support their daughter's decision whatever the decision may be, other parents doesn't get informed about their daughter's pregnancy or about getting an abortion. Instead they have illegal abortions or travel outside of the state to have an abortion because it is illegal in their home state. Because of this situation, parents have a right to know when their teenage daughter is having an abortion so they can know if any complications occur after the procedure.

These teenagers are going through this because they are becoming sexually active at a very young age. Their hormones are surging as they begin to deal with adult roles and expectations about sexual behavior (Crews 2005). They believe that they can handle the responsibilities of being sexually active with many sexual partners until they find out that they have contracted a sexually transmitted disease or gotten pregnant. When they find out that they are pregnant, it becomes very hard on them and the parents, and while some decide to go through the pregnancy and keep the baby others decide on abortion. The ones that decide on the abortion are the ones whose parents don't know about the pregnancy and they go without their parent's knowledge for an abortion. As it was stated earlier that parents should know that their daughter's are getting abortion, but there are some circumstances a parent doesn't need to know if their daughter's are getting an abortion. There are two sides to this issue of teen abortion and parental rights that will be argued on later but first let's discuss about abortion and the history of it.

Abortion is when the embryo or fetus is removed from the uterus resulting in or caused by death. In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, it states that abortion can also occur through a miscarriage or induced through chemical, surgical or other means.

Abortion has been traced back to ancient times. There is evidence that historically pregnancies were terminated through many methods, like the administration of abortifacient herbs, the use of sharpened implements, the application of abdominal pressure, and other procedures (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2006). Also back then, women could end their pregnancy by doing violent exercises, energetic jumping, riding animals, and carrying heavy objects.

There are four forms of abortions that can be done to terminate the pregnancy. There is Spontaneous abortion, which is generally known as a miscarriage which happens due to natural causes. Most miscarriages happen in early pregnancy. Then there is Induced abortion, where a miscarriage happens either accidental or intentional.

The most common method for an abortion where the embryo or fetus is suctioned out by using a manual syringe, which is known as a Manual vacuum aspiration or by the electric pump that is known as an Electric vacuum aspiration is the surgical abortion.

Another form is D&E, which is called surgical dilation and evacuation where you open up the cervix of the uterus and emptying it using surgical instruments and suction. The last form of abortion is Chemical abortion which is also referred to as a medical abortion. In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia it states that the process begins with administration of either methotrexate or mifepristone, followed by misoprostol. When used right, about 98% of women undergoing this procedure will experience the abortion without surgical intervention. With all this said about abortion and how it is performed, abortion in general is topic of controversy, but teenage abortion is much more controversial because of the legal issues surrounding it. Before I start to express the issues and emotions on both sides of the subject, first I would like to express my views on this subject of abortion. I believe that abortion is wrong. Killing a baby that is growing inside is really sad, but in some cases it has to be done and those issues will be discussed later.

For teenagers that are facing abortion, they encounter psychological, social, and philosophical issues. After the Roe v Wade case in 1973 that decided that a woman had the right to choose, limited abortion rights were granted to minors. As a result of this, many states are enacting various forms of parental notification and consent laws. In most states, the law requires that parents of teenagers provide written approval to get an abortion or be notified by a physician. There is an ongoing debate about the notification of parents on abortion. Most mothers and fathers of teens are angry about confidentiality laws that come between them and their children (Nicholson 2003). Doctors need the legal freedom to be truthful with the parents. Nicholson (2003) states that she tries to encourage mothers of teenage daughters to take them in early for ob/gyn care, not only to establish a relationship with the physician, but it also encourages the mother to recognize that their daughter is now fertile and must take up the responsibilities of sexual activity. So, if an adolescent pregnancy happens, it is more likely to be handled within the context of the family. The percentage of abortion here in the US today performed on teens is about 20%.

When the U.S. Senate was preparing to debate the Child Custody Protection Act, the pro-life advocates was worried that the Democrats proposed amendments to the bill would have undermine its intent (Larkins 2006). The Child Custody Protection Act is a bill that would prohibit anyone other than a parent or a guardian of a minor from taking the minor across state lines to an abortion. The NARAL, Pro-Choice America, which is one of the nation's most aggressive abortion rights advocates, argues that the Child Custody Protection Act is dangerous and divisive (Larkins 2006). There are only six states that have no laws that require either parental consent or notification for minors seeking abortions according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The six states are Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington State. As a result of that, those six states have become destinations for minors seeking abortions without having to tell their parents. Democratic Senators, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California, proposed amendments that would weaken the bill (Larkins 2006). Feinstein's amendment allows grandparents or members of the clergy to take a minor out of the state for an abortion. Boxer's amendment proposes that the bill not to apply to any minor who has an abortion as a result of pregnancy by incest. The director of government relations



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