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American College of Pediatricians Lays Out a Clear Case for Parental Consent

The American College of Pediatricians has just updated their position paper on the importance of parental consent and involvement in a minor's decision to have an abortion. This document quickly and clearly covers all the important points for why parental consent for abortion is necessary: "As Ross proficiently states: “What are we teaching our adolescents when they find persons in authority willing to help them deceive their parents? What does it teach these adolescents with regard to the respect owed to any adult, least of all a deceitful doctor or a duped parent?” Intentionally removing a teen’s parent(s) from the decision-making process, misleads the teen toward the false notion that parents are nonessential, simply obstructive to the process, and that the teen is completely capable of making mature, wise decisions without the parent’s advice."

The College of Pediatricians makes it clear that the special treatment for this one controversial procedure needs to end: "For purposes of consent, however, abortion should be treated as any other medical or surgical procedure.   Medical care of children and adolescents uniformly requires written and verbal parental consent for any procedure – inside or outside of a medical office. For example, written parental consent is required for minor children to receive over-the-counter medications when in day care or at school.  This is because appropriate medical care can only be provided within the context of the patient’s family and medical history."

.Teen girl in hospital bed

In conclusion, they state, "Adolescents need the advice and involvement of their parents. As more is learned about the immaturity of the adolescent brain, especially in the development of the decision-making frontal lobes, it is obvious that parents should be allowed to guide their teens in all medical decisions, including decisions regarding pregnancy. Legislation mandating or encouraging parental involvement in decisions related to a minor’s pregnancy protects adolescents during a very vulnerable time in their lives. Society recognizes this need, and often requires and encourages parents to be a positive resource for their adolescents in matters of health, and other issues of consequence.  Therefore, excluding them from a minor’s decision about abortion cannot be justified."

You can read the full statement, with supporting sources, here.

This public awareness campaign is a joint effort between Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association and WeNeedaLAW.ca. For more information please contact us here.

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