Is parental consent common sense?

A seventeen year old in Saskatchewan who wants to get married will need to have her parents sign a consent form in the presence of a Saskatchewan marriage licence issuer, clergy or any person authorized to take affidavits.

According to the Government of Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice website, if either party of the prospective marriage is under sixteen years of age, no licence will be issued and no marriage will be solemnized. This can only be overridden by a Provincial Court judge after an application to a courthouse in Saskatchewan.

This policy is unlikely to be challenged as it is understood that minors possess a lack of maturity and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility which can result in hasty and ill-considered actions and decisions. Most people will readily acknowledge that the character of a minor is not as well formed as that of an adult due to their personality traits being more transitory and less fixed.

While it seems pretty common sense to require parental consent for a minor to get married, the same cannot be said for a minor to get an abortion.

The same seventeen year old who can’t get married without her parent(s) consent could find herself in an unplanned pregnancy and be coerced into having an abortion with no knowledge of her parents.

This is tragic and needs to be addressed with a parental consent for abortion law.

Is Parental Consent Under Provincial Jurisdiction?

It is lamentable that most conversations even remotely connected to abortion or the rights of children before birth are dominated by rhetoric. This rhetoric is not limited to only community or media conversations, but regrettably even dominates the expressions of legislators. What we mean is this - often when there is public discussion  about Canada’s federal elected lawmakers legislating on - it is dismissed because it is deemed to be a provincial issue - as they say it deals with health care. Likewise, when it is discussed at the provincial level the desire often is to pass it off as a federal issue - because there is a criminal component - and thus it never is dealt with.

Fortunately, the Constitution Act (1867) lays out the division of powers between federal and provincial governments. Section 92 (16) confers on Provincial Legislatures the power to make laws in relation to “all matters of merely local or private nature in the province.” Similarly, paragraph 7 of that same section of the Constitution Act authorizes provinces to make laws in relation to “the establishment, maintenance, and management of hospitals, charities, etc.” This specifically authorizes the provinces to establish and regulate hospitals, and to regulate hospital-based health care services.

Read more: Is Parental Consent Under Provincial Jurisdiction?

Video: Launch on steps of Legislature

On February 11, 2014 over 50 people gathered on the steps of the Legislature in Regina to launch this campaign. It was a cold morning and some people had driven up to 5 hours to be there for this exciting announcement! Watch the video of the announcement below!

Remarks at launch on steps of Saskatchewan Legislature

(As delivered)

Friends, supporters, activists, people of Saskatchewan.

In this province a young teenager can enter the workforce - with his parent’s consent.

In the province of Saskatchewan a young teenager can beautify herself in an indoor tanning salon - with her parent’s consent

In the province of Saskatchewan a young teenager can get a tattoo or have her tongue pierced - with her parent’s consent.

But, when a young, teenage girl becomes unexpectedly pregnant, and is uncertain about what to do, she can request and receive an abortion without any knowledge of her parents.

The manner in which abortion is handled in Saskatchewan, particularly pertaining to minors sits in stark contrast to how minors are treated when it comes to other matters dealing with the body.

And so today, I am pleased to announce that we are launching an exciting new public awareness campaign calling upon the Saskatchewan government to enact parental consent for abortion legislation.

Read more: Remarks at launch on steps of Saskatchewan Legislature


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

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