By: Jenny Eastland

In the United States there are currently 34 states that require some form of parental involvement in order for a minor to obtain an abortion. This is because it is believed that it will deter youth from choosing abortion over childbirth or adoption if they have some form of parental guidance. It is also thought to be an aid in parent-child bonding, and protects the rights of the parents.

The issues with this law seem quite obvious if one supports the choice to obtain an abortion in general. Regardless of the individual’s age, they should always have the ultimate say in what happens to their body. Whether that be abortion, childbirth, or adoption. Just because she is under the age of 18 does not mean her parents have any say in what she chooses. It is her body, and her body alone.

In an article published in March 2009 by the Guttmacher Institute, “The Impact of Laws Requiring Parental Involvement for Abortion: A Literature Review,” the authors conducted a review of twenty-nine studies on the impact of parental involvement laws. What they found was that the most prevalent thing that these laws do, is cause minors to travel to other states that do not require parental consent in order to seek out an abortion. They also reported that, after these laws were enacted, there was no decrease in teen abortion rates in those specific states.

Minors must have the right to confidential healthcare. Health organizations across the country are speaking out against the parental consent laws on behalf of this idea that it is the individual’s right to have the ultimate say. Stand with the minors seeking out the options to do what’s right for them. Fight back against parental consent laws.