When you sent your teen to off to school today, you worried that she would fail her test, bomb her audition for the school play, or cut out of gym class to see her boyfriend. You never thought that while in the hallowedI've long been concerned about the fact that minors are allowed to relinquish their parental rights without their parents knowing. A child can go through labor and delivery without her parents knowing. That's very different from how we treat the abortion decision by minors. In most states, a minor cannot have an abortion without her parents being notified unless she goes to court first to get judicial approval.
halls of academia, she would be convinced to take her baby and run away from your loving home on the advice of her guidance counselor. Yet that's exactly what happened to Judy Bennett.
Stephanie Bennett was a 17 year old mother and student, living at home in Ohio with her supportive mom and step-dad when she revealed concerns about motherhood to guidance counselor Thomas Saltsman. Instead of bolstering her confidence and encouraging her in her role as a parent, he immediately arranged for her to meet with A Child's Waiting adoption agency on school grounds, during school hours.
Days after their first meeting and feeling pressured to "do the right thing" by her daughter, Stephanie took baby Evelyn and ran away from home. Hours later, she signed the paperwork allowing the agency to take her daughter away.
One frequent argument for parental notification in teen abortions is that parents ought to know about medical procedures performed on their children. What about childbirth by their minor children? Shouldn't parents know about that? The risk of death and medical complications is greater with childbirth than with abortion, after all.
The other popular argument rests on the significance of the decision -- deciding whether to have an abortion is such an important thing that minors ought to have the advice of grown-ups in making the decision. Parents can serve in that role, and if there is some reason why they should not be notified, then a judge can evaluate whether a minor is sufficiently mature to make the decision on her own. Why don't we do the same for another extremely important and significant decision, whether to terminate parental rights and place a child for adoption?
So engage in a little thought experiment if you have girl children. Imagine that your 15-year-old is pregnant. She is considering her options. Who do you want to be talking to her about her choices? A set of prospective adoptive parents who answer her "what should I do" question on Yahoo Answers? An adoption agency whose pamphlet she found in the guidance counselor's office? Or YOU?