by Yamani Hernandez
Article published June 27, 2014 on RH Reality Check
“Parental consent and notification laws are built on a series of myths about young people, families, abortion, and the judicial process.
State laws vary between requiring medical providers to notify adult family members to, at the extreme, requiring that two parents provide notorized consent before a young person can access abortion care.Currently, 38 states have mandated parental consent or notification laws. With those laws come a series of dangerous misconceptions that are creating barriers to health care for youth instead of increased resources and information.
Myth #1: “Parental involvement sounds like a good idea to me.”
In reality: Most young people already go to a trusted adult for support… Read Entire Article on RH Reality Check
Sign the Petition to Oppose forced Parental Notification in Illinois!
A young woman did not want to involve her parents for fear that she, like her sister, would be forced to continue her pregnancy against her wishes. After her sister told her parents that she was pregnant, they forced her to give birth and put the child up for adoption. Her sister subsequently tried to commit suicide and was institutionalized for depression.
An attorney received a frantic call from her client stating that, although the school was treating her absence as excused, it would nonetheless be noted on her report card. As she routinely achieved perfect attendance, she knew her parents would notice the excused absence and demand an explanation.
Upon learning of one minor’s intended absence from school to attend a bypass hearing, a Massachusetts school principal removed the student from class, drove her home, and informed her mother of both her pregnancy and her desire for an abortion. Her mother forced her to carry her pregnancy to term against her wishes.
A young woman picked a fight with her brother so he would punch her in the stomach, all in hope of triggering a miscarriage.
Another young woman threw herself down the stairs in hope of disrupting the pregnancy.
One young woman, who was a gymnast, devised a gymnastics practice regimen that she hoped would cause her to miscarry.
A young woman was so scared that her parents would find out about her unintended pregnancy, she tried to overdose on over-the-counter medication.
In a well publicized case from Indiana, a teen, desperate to end her pregnancy without her parents’ knowledge, had an illegal abortion and died from complications.
The much older adult sister of a pregnant youth disclosed to a clinic that since learning of her sister’s pregnancy, her parents had engaged in a prolonged period of degrading her sister (by, for example, repeatedly calling her a whore and telling her that she was no good) and isolating her from all outside sources of support. As a result, the pregnant youth became so depressed the sister was seriously afraid that the pregnant youth would try to kill herself.
The older sister thought that the situation was so dire that, after talking to clinic staff, she called DCFS about her own family.
One young woman had four older sisters, each of whom became pregnant as minors. In response to the news of each sister’s pregnancy, her parents would throw the sister out of the house. This young woman was an excellent student, had a college scholarship, and, in general, felt that she had her life ahead of her. Given what she had seen, she feared that, if her parents found out about her pregnancy, they would throw her out of the house too, destroying her dreams for the future.