In Massachusetts, the legislature is currently debating the “Roe Act,” which would, among other things, remove the parental consent requirement for an abortion. If this legislation goes through, Massachusetts will become the first state to remove this commonsense protection.
Parental consent laws are incredibly important for the protection of not only the young women who want an abortion, but their families as well.
Abortion is not a decision without consequences, nor is it a singular event that affects no other aspects of a young woman’s life. Women who have had abortions need support, and a lack of parental consent means that abortion can become a secret wound that can fester for years.
For example, a single mother may not know that the reason her daughter is now struggling with addiction is because she was sexually assaulted, had an abortion and never told anyone about it. That may be an extreme example, but it’s important for parents to know what is going on in their children’s lives in order to help and support them.
In another possible example, a family member who is abusing an underage relative may be able to more easily conceal his crime by telling the young girl or teenager to go and get an abortion since she doesn’t need her parent’s consent. As a result of the abortion, his crime is essentially erased, and he is able to continue abusing her.
In the United States, 26 states have laws that protect minors by requiring parental consent for an abortion. It would be great if every state had this type of commonsense legislation.
How is it illegal to buy tobacco or alcohol unless you’re 21, but in half the States it is legal for a teenager to get an abortion without any parental involvement?
Being a teenager is tough enough. Add in a potentially devastating decision like an abortion, the purposeful killing of a preborn child, and the resulting fallout could be overwhelming for a young woman.
According to scientists, our brains don’t fully develop until the age of 25. It is unlikely that a teenager can make the decision to have an abortion and consider the full weight of her choice at that age.
There’s a reason why parental consent is required for a young person to get a tattoo or piercing, a body modification that could potentially come with some regret. A minor also can’t vote, enlist in the military, go to or work in a strip club or buy a lottery ticket, but it is somehow okay for a 16-year-old to have an abortion, a serious medical procedure, without her parents’ consent?
That doesn’t make any sense.
The reason why pro-abortion activists want to repeal legislation like this has nothing to do with protecting vulnerable young women, and everything to do with pushing a pro-abortion agenda. We put all sorts of restrictions around young people in an attempt to protect them from many supposed ills, but when it comes to abortion, we allow them to fend for themselves without requiring parental involvement.
A study demonstrated that 10,000 abortions have been prevented since Massachusetts first enacted the law in the 1970s. Those are 10,000 lives that have been saved, and another 10,000-20,000 young women and men who do not have to live with the decision to have an abortion.
Pray that the Massachusetts legislature declines to proceed with this damaging legislation.
If you or someone you know is struggling with the fallout from an abortion, Focus on the Family can help. Email Focus on the Family at [email protected] or call 855-771-HELP from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Mountain time) to find the resources you need. Learn more at Focusonthefamily.com/counseling.