In July of 2018, If/When/How published an article in which they criticized laws requiring minors to notify their parents and/or acquire parental consent before obtaining an abortion.
In 37 states, children must notify their parent(s), get the consent of their parent(s), or both, in order to get an abortion. If a child is unable to get parental consent, they must go through a process called Judicial Bypass. This process is referred to in the article as “a patronizing, often obfuscated, series of hoops to convince a judge to act as a kind of parental proxy, allowing the young person to access care.”
First of all, abortion is not healthcare and no one is entitled to it, especially children.
Requiring children to obtain parental consent for major medical and legal procedures is nothing new. Until a child turns 18, unless legally emancipated, they are under the care of their parent or guardian. It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to nurture and maintain the safety and well-being of their children. This includes acting as the authority figure on major decisions which will affect them for the rest of their life and not allowing them to go through with a procedure which can have extreme consequences. On the other hand, it is also the responsibility of the parent to not abuse this responsibility and force their daughters into abortion
In the United States, parental consent is required for almost everything regarding minors. In many states, children are not even legally able to consent to sex until they turn 18 years old. Children need parental or guardian’s consent to get their driver’s permit and license, see certain movies, be employed, be treated by a school nurse, and even go on school field trips, among countless other things.
Why is this necessary? Because children are not adults and should not make adult decisions.
What If/When/How is demanding is dangerous and irresponsible. They want these children who cannot even go on a school field trip without a parent’s permission to be able to secretly obtain a life-changing, dangerous, invasive, and possibly fatal surgical procedure instead of raising that child. Parents and guardians have a legal right and obligation to be a part of these decisions, as they do with every other medical decision for their children.
Apparently, parents should not have a say in their child’s abortion, but if the abortion goes wrong and the child is sent to a hospital, does the parent have a say then? This is inconsistency and cherry picking at its finest.
The fact is, a child is not mature enough to understand the implications of abortion, especially when abortion clinics do not sufficiently educate them before the procedure on what is truly being done. Women and girls seeking abortions are not given the option of viewing the ultrasound, are often lied to about the size of the baby, and are not given counseling or post-abortive care, according to former Planned Parenthood worker Catherine Anthony Adair.
“There was absolutely no talk of any kind of mental health help or counseling, because that would have been tantamount to admitting that women suffer emotionally after abortion and Planned Parenthood is always going to deny that,” she said.
It is known and proven women are being lied to and taken advantage of by abortion providers and If/When/How is wanting children to be manipulated into making these uninformed decisions without the help and guidance of their parents.
A procedure as traumatic as abortion can cause substantial damage to women’s mental and physical health, such as major depression, anxiety disorder, suicidal ideation, alcohol dependence, illicit drug dependence, a higher risk of premature birth in subsequent pregnancies, a higher risk of developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, and a higher risk of developing breast cancer. No child is mature enough to consent to these implications, even if abortion providers did warn their patients of these effects like they are supposed to. Likewise, no parent should allow their child to go through a procedure like this.
By completely disregarding the very possible side effects and consequences of abortion, the pro-choice crowd has made it abundantly clear they do not care about the health and well-being of women and girls. By allowing young girls to keep their pregnancies a secret from their parents, they are not giving these girls an opportunity to ask for help and support and consider keeping the baby. If these abortion providers were truly pro-choice, they would encourage, if not require, these girls to explore all their choices, including raising the baby. Abortion providers do not care about a woman’s “right to choose”; they care about abortion.
If a girl gets pregnant, she is already a mother. There is no valid reason to end her child’s life because of her age or circumstance. If a girl thinks she has to get an abortion because she is too young to be a mother, she does not have to. There are countless cases of girls as young as 13 becoming mothers through both rape and consensual sex and still being successful. If girls think they will be kicked out of their parents’ house, there are homes and programs to assist them.
No matter the circumstances, abortion is the wrong answer. Teen pregnancy is not the end of the world, but abortion is the end of a life.
This If/When/How nonsense is the epitome of careless, malicious, pro-abortion rhetoric. It is nothing but a shameless attempt to create abortion victims out of children in the name of choice and empowerment.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.