Most health jurisdictions around the world have legislation that protects vulnerable minors by enacting parental consent for abortion legislation, including 39 of the 51 states just south of us. As stated in our recently released legal opinion:
“Beyond healthcare, age restrictions are used to determine when a person can vote, drive, sell property, stop attending school, consent to sex and marry. All of these restrictions all have some element of a literal arbitrariness but this does not automatically invalidate them, and in fact, they are a common and necessary was of ordering our society. Some of these also have a parental consent component. For example, youth under 18 years of age who wish to marry. Like abortion, marriage carries with it potentially serious consequences and implications. Yet choosing to marry is a reversible decision. Abortion is not.”
Requiring parental consent for abortion is not only good for the health and well-being of adolescents, it also saves the lives of pre-born children. This week marks the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding Minnesota’s parental notification requirement and in that time period abortions performed on minors has dropped an astounding 79%! See here for more on the impact of Minnesota’s parental laws.
Parental consent does not equal parental control – it is about responsibility and care. A parental consent law makes it clear that the government supports young women as well as the lives they may carry, and is working to enhance their well-being now and across their lifespan.