Teen Abortion Essay Research Paper 1

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Teen Abortion Essay, Research Paper 1 Research Paper ENG 232/Dr. Powers 27 Mar 99 TEEN ABORTION It is ironic that, while a teenage girl must obtain parental consent for such a minor procedure as having her ears pierced, for her to lay her life on the line (as well as that of her unborn child) and obtain an abortion, no parental notification is required. If a teenager, because of her immaturity and inexperience in decision-making, may not enroll herself in the school of her choice without her parent?s signature and consent, how can she be expected to independently come to a decision regarding such a serious issue as whether to obtain an abortion? It is also strikingly ironic that the same parents who would be required by law to provide extended financial and medical assistance

to the child, if any aspect of the abortion went awry and left her, say, paralytic or comatose?and the same parents who could be required by law to support an infant born of their child (if the teen did not elect to procure an abortion)?these same parents are not themselves protected by law to assist the child in deciding whether to even carry the infant to term. Parental consent or notification should be required for abortions for minors. Pettigrew 2 Studies have indicated that the effects of abortion upon adolescents are greater than effects upon adults (Gillham, 1997). These procedures are very risky to any female. Complications to the mother occur in one of four adult legal abortions; among adolescents the risk increases substantially to one in three. Further, the fact that 2

to 5 percent of abortions result in sterility might not disturb a woman in her 30s, but it could have devastating effects upon a young teen?s relationships and future plans for marriage (Gillham). So, to say that parents would shield their children from irreparable pain and hurt is not unreasonable. Contrary to public thought, there is no such thing as a ?safe? abortion. Approximately 258 physical complications can occur in an induced abortion, including hemorrhage; shock; brain damage; septicemia; cerebral, cardiac or pulmonary embolism (Gall, 1992). According to a study on induced adolescent abortions, published by the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, adolescent?s experience profoundly marked psychological effects in the abortion aftermath (SSWUC,

1995). Severe depression, crying spells, massive social withdrawal and even suicide, among other symptoms, have been cited as directly relating to teen?s abortion. No parents would want to see their daughter in that state of mind. Pettigrew 3 One way or another, parents are involved in financial issues that arise from adolescent abortions. For example, a minor child had an illegal abortion two day ago. Her parents were not informed. The minor child starts to have complications from the abortions, now medical attention is needed. She?s rushed to the hospital, and while there the parents are being asked what happened. They cannot answer because they don?t know what happened to their child. Now, because the child is a minor the parents are stuck with the hospital bills. Therefore,

the same parents that are being held responsible for the incurred financial obligations deserve to be notified when an important decision concerning their minor child, to have an abortion, is determined. One provision of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982 requires that for a minor to obtain an abortion, the informed consent of one of her parents must be obtained. It also provides for a judicial bypass option if the minor does not want to or cannot obtain a parent?s consent. (Tatalovich, 1997). Parents have a moral, legal, and ethical reason to hold up to their responsibilities concerning their minor child. In the State of California a ?child? means a person under the age of 18 years (CPC, 1995). Any person having the care or custody of a child, willfully causes or