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Should Minors Receive Parental Consent Before Having An Abortion?

1999 words - 8 pages

Abortion is a very sensitive, yet popular, topic that is plaguing the United States. According to Merriam-Webster, abortion is, “A medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of a fetus.” (n.d.). According to Griffin-Carlson &Mackin (1993), “In 1988, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that there were 1,371,285 abortions in the United States, 25% of which were obtained by women under 19. Researches at the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that of the 1.1 million pregnancies among teenagers in 1981, 40% ended in abortion, 13% in miscarriage, and 47% in live births (p. 1). Abortion is a sensitive topic because there are many individuals who believe that abortion is murder. On the other hand, there are others that believe that it is up to the mom to make the decision regarding the fetus, whether it is death or the continuation of life. The controversy surrounding this topic is vast, that it has even been taken to Congress, in hopes of making it illegal to receive/perform abortions. When a pregnant minor is thrown in the scenario, the arguments intensify. This paper will delve into the topic of whether minors should be required to receive parental consent for abortions.
The history behind abortions is very intriguing. The National Abortion Federation asserts that abortions have been performed for thousands of years and were generally performed before quickening, or before the mom felt any fetal movement in the uterus (Abortion was legal section, para. 1). Laws that made abortions illegal were being passed during the 1800s because the early settlers didn’t want to be outnumbered by immigrant children (Making Abortion Illegal section, para.1). In the beginning, abortion procedures caused very high mortality rates, related to a lack of available hospitals, no antiseptic techniques, and primitive medical education. This high mortality rate was lowered with the introduction of infection prevention methods, such as hand washing, but many abortions were still being performed in the ‘back-alleys” (Medical practice section, para. 1-2). Back-alley is a figurative term that was used to describe the process of women who used untrained practitioners to perform abortions, where many of these patients were either harmed, or suffered horrible, life threatening effects related to the abortions (Back-Alley abortions section, para. 1-4). Physicians tried to capitalize on a loophole that gave physicians the right to perform abortions to save a woman’s life at their discretion. The American Medical Association (AMA) was created and they argued that abortions were immoral and dangerous, thus creating a facade that allowed them to eliminate untrained professionals from taking fees from physicians, and seemingly eradicating abortions (The medical establishment section, para. 1-2).
According to the National Abortion Federation, there were approximately 1.5 million women who were acquiring illegal abortions (Back-Alley...

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