Study gives reasons teens don’t tell their parents about pregnancy

“One study cited the 3 most common reasons why young pregnant women had abortions without telling their parents. They were, in order, “Didn’t want to hurt or disappoint parent,” “Thought parent would be angry at me,” and “Didn’t want parents to know I was having sex.”

Allison Landes et. al, eds., Abortion: an Eternal Social and Moral Issue (Wylie, TX: Information Plus, 1996) 104

Quoted in Stephen Currie Abortion (San Diego, California: Greenhaven Press, 2000)

Pro-choicer’s argue that only children who are abused at home will not tell their parents. That is why they oppose consent laws, they say. These are the true, most common reasons teens have abortions without telling their parents.

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my girlfriend didn’t want to disappoint her parents, so she didn’t tell them she aborted my child

When a bill requiring minors getting abortions to inform their parents was being considered, a blogger posted some stories from teenagers speaking out either in favor or against the bill. This young man was the father of an aborted baby. He argues against the bill, believing minors should not have to tell their parents:

“My girlfriend Jenay had an abortion and the baby was mine. I met her at John Muir Middle School in Oakland. We were both 14. She was 15 when she had an abortion….

“She had the abortion because she didn’t want her father to hate her. She didn’t actually know if he really would have hated her, but they had some talks in the past and he told her she should wait to have sex and that he would be disappointed if she got pregnant…..

After she had the abortion I felt really bad and relieved at the same time.I felt bad because we killed my son or daughter. I was relieved because I didn’t have to go through the drama that might have occurred with my family and I if they found out.”

“Post-abortive teens on Proposition 73” JivinJeoshaphat Wednesday, November 09, 2005

He seems to realize that a baby died in the abortion, his own son or daughter. He doesn’t seem to care very much however. But when pro-lifers say that teenagers should get the consent of their parents or at least have to notify them before they get an abortion, pro-choicers insist that teens already tell their parents that the only teens who don’t are those in abusive families. This girl didn’t involve her parents in the decision because she was afraid they would be disappointed with her –not because  they were abusive; they do not threaten her, they were nonviolent. She could’ve gone to her parents, and this may have had a different outcome if she had. At the very least, she would not have had to go through a major surgical procedure alone at 15, and been forced to handle any possible aftereffects or complications in secret.It is hard to understand how this is in the best interests of minors.

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OB/GYN supports parental notification and consent

“Girls need regular medical follow-up after an abortion to detect future complications. It is highly unlikely that a teenage girl will seek appropriate treatment for complications arising from secret abortion, thus endangering her health. I cannot go home with a young girl, therefore the care that I can provide is limited to my office – only parents can provide care beyond that.”

Drea Olmstead, “Secrecy Not the Answer in Abortion Decision” Eugene (OR) Register – Guard, November 3, 2006

She is obstetrician gynecologist who practices in Oregon, where in 2006 voters turned down a ballot measure that would’ve made it mandatory for teens to acquire parental consent for abortion.

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Clinic Worker: 14 year old girl should not have abortion alone

Groups like Planned Parenthood fight laws that would require a teenage girl to notify her parents about her abortion. But one clinic worker discusses how the abortion process is hard for a teenager and says that she should have support. She does not come out and say that parental notification bills are good, but at least conveys that young teenagers should not have to deal with their abortions alone:

“I don’t want a 14-year-old coming to my clinic alone for an abortion and walking out alone after she has it. What kind of provider am I if I permit this?”

Quoted in Marion Faux. Crusaders: Voices from the Abortion Front (New York: Birch Lane, 1990) 262

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Abortionist Comments on the Ease of Getting around Parental Notification Laws

From an article that a reporter wrote after observing at an abortion clinic: A teenager who had an abortion had to go through a judge to bypass the law that required her to tell her parents about her pregnancy. The article says:

Getting a judicial bypass was not difficult, she said. The clinic scheduled her appointment early in the morning, and after taking a pregnancy test, for which she paid $200, she met with a judge briefly in his chambers.

According to the abortionist who performed the surgery:

“If you go to the judge and say, ‘I’m afraid to tell my parents because they might harm me,’ that’s all you need to say,” said Dr. Tom Tvedten, who has been performing abortions in Arkansas for 20 years, and now works part time at the Little Rock clinic. “It doesn’t have to be true, because how would anybody know?”
He added, “But every time a restriction is placed on us, it increases our costs, and that cost is passed on to the consumer.”

JOHN LELAND  “Under Din of Abortion Debate, an Experience Shared Quietly  “New York Times September 18, 2005

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Parental Consent Law Leads to Fewer Teen Pregnancies/Abortions

The state of Minnesota had a parental notification law which was in place in 1981, challenged in 1986, suspended, and then reinstituted.

The number of abortions dropped 34% while the law was in place, the number of pregnancies in the age group dropped 27%

“Impact of MN Parental Notification Law on Abortion and Birth” J. Rogers, et al., American Journal of Public health, March 1991, volume 81, number 3, P294

Perhaps when teenagers realize that abortion is not such an easy option, they are more diligent at using contraception are practicing abstinence. The fact that both the abortion rate and the pregnancy rate went down seems to indicate that when parental consent laws are in place, teens will do more to avoid pregnancy.

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