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Forums > Social Discussion > parents knowing if a teenager has had an abortion

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thegreatBJ


Woman! Not gay Man!
Location: Hull...ish

Total posts: 332
Posted:at the moment there's talk of parents being able to find out if their teenage daughter wants an abortion despite confidetiality.

I was wondering what you lot think about this

Im against it for lts of reasons... like the righs of the teenager to the same treatment as an adult (women who are getting abortions without their husbands knowing have the right to do it in secrecy) andthe fact that its going t lead to a lot more teenage pregnancys than there is at the moment (would you whant to teminate a pregnancy as a teenager if you think your parents could find out or would you just try to hide the lump?)


I AM NOT A GAY MAN!

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misscorinthian
SILVER Member since Sep 2005

misscorinthian

old hand
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 784
Posted:I think the main sticking point here is that there is no right answer.

I mean, abortion is something many people feel is morally wrong.
Underage sex is also something many feel is morally wrong.
Many others don't.

I also understand the points raised about the mothers (and I guess fathers too) lives being in danger due to religions etc.

Maybe the decision to tell or not to tell/get parental consent and all that should be assessed for each individual case?

Alot of girls may think their parents would go mad when in fact they would be unconditionally supportive, and a third party may see that and decide which action is best for the child.

I still think clarification in the law of exactly when we are considered adults would help tho.


XLenX

Devoted although mostly absent owner of the 1, the original... Asena

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:patriarch- i see your stance fairly clearly for the most part (I think- i read this last night and just got round to replying).. But what do you recommend when teh parents can't be trusted? when the childs health and well being, ;let alone life, is in danger? When the kid shouldn't be legally controlled by the parent in the first place, but there's something which would make it many times worse....

i know people who if they'f been in that situation, even if they were raped, would have gone for a back alley abortion first and probably killed themselves second rather than face what they'd have gone thru.....

and, as someone pointed out, what about when the father is the father?


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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squarexbear
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

squarexbear

....of doom!
Location: Hastings, UK

Total posts: 585
Posted:i'm with the doc on this one. all medical treatment should be kept confidential - there is a reason it was made confidential in the first place.

i think the whole thing is a backlash against evolving moral values. we aren't living 50 or 100 years ago - we're living now and if we don't equip todays children properly, educate them in safe sex, give them access to free and confidential advice then we are responsible for backstreet abortions and teenage pregnancies and the rise of STDs.

trying to find an age at which everyone is sexually mature, takes responsibility for their own actions and practises safe sex when not trying to conceive isnt ever going to happen. there are plenty of people over 16 who get pregnant without intending to, and it is quite possible that they aren't emotionally mature enough to cope with abortion either. who wants to tell their parents?


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Thanks, Patriarch917, for making that more clear. I understand a bit better what you meant now. smile Still don't agee though... tongue

It seems to be a conflict between the Doctor's responsibilities and the patient's rights.

The Doctors have a responsibility to try and prevent further harm. In this case it would probably involve telling the parents, so they can help the child through the abortion and it's after-effects.

The Patient has the right to confidentiality, even when this means that they have to deal with problems themselves.

So which gets priority? Mike, have you seen this conflict before? Is there a bit of medical legislation/common practice that outlines which should take precedence?


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:Of course there is a responsibility to protect children from parents who are likely to kill or hurt them. However, the proper response is not to try help the child keep secrets from the parents. The proper response is to find a good home for the child.

Similarly, a secret abortion is not the proper response to rape. In fact, access to secret abortions for minors make it more likely that an abusive situation will continue.

Example: a child gets pregnant from her 18 year old boyfriend. She fears that her parents will make them break up if they found out she was having sex with him, and the boyfriend fears prosecution for statutory rape. A secret abortion would allow them to perpetuate their problems.

Sethis, you see the issue as being a conflict between a Doctors responsibility and a patients confidentiality, and you think that harm is best avoided by not letting the parents be involved.

I see it as a conflict between a parents right to oversee a child's health care, and a child's right to privacy from their parents. I think that the interests of both are usually better served by letting the parents know about the problems the kids are having.

Doctors are not an acceptable substitute for good parents.

To hypothesize about situations involving bad parents is about as useful as imagining a bad doctor.


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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:but situations involving bad parents are tons and tons more common! a very decent percentage of children have bad parents.... and yes, they need new homes. but there arn't enough of these to go around. i might agree with you that thats a seperate argument- that in an ideal world you are right- but- the thing is we need to look at things based on the world we live in. And unless you have a solution for being able to suss out the parent problems- that involves patient confidentiality!

you do bring up very good points tho!


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Patriarch, you will insist on dodging definitions of what constitutes a child rolleyes.

You say a "Child with an 18 year old boyfriend". That could be anyone from 4 to 17, because according to your previous posts, you haven't given an age as to when you think people should be considered "Adult".

You seem to characterize the "18 yr old + Girl" as an "Abusive relationship". I'm not sure whether that's a mistake in punctuation or what, because *I* date a 17 yr old (whom you have not yet made clear whether you would consider her a child or not) and I'm 18. Am I abusive? What if I wanted to date a 15 yr old when I was 16? Is that abuse? Please explain a bit, because I hope I'm mistaken in how I'm reading your post.

And, in any case, I'd say that a secret abortion would *avoid* their problems if their relationship is actually a balenced one. It means the police don't get involved, the parents don't get involved, and the relationship continues as before, with them making doubly sure that they use contraception. If they're happy together then I don't see why they should be broken up just because of an accident that can happen to anyone.

And, like you, I don't believe that doctors are replacements for parents. However I would think that if your parents would freak out as soon as you say "I'm having sex" then you might want to discuss your options with someone slightly more impartial, whether that's a doctor or counsellor. Maybe then you can actually discuss the problems and concerns without the Crying/Slamming Doors/Dis-Owning/Stabbings etc etc

smile


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Eera


old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:How many girls/women can emotionally deal with abortion without the support of their family? I couldn't.

I have mixed views: half of me hates the idea of violating a girl's privacy, the other half kind of thinks that if a girl is undergoing a medical procedure that will lay her up for a couple of days and has a remote possibility of killing her, the parents should know.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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thegreatBJ


Woman! Not gay Man!
Location: Hull...ish

Total posts: 332
Posted:Patriach on the point of "distilling this point down to its fundamental issues" I'd have to say that one of the main issues is a childs/teenages right to privacy and that the child/teenager would loose the baisic human right of private medical procedure if the parents were informed.

Also a main point is the seriousness of abortion, it can cause serious mental issues and has been known to give women as much a fear of sex as rape would and I can accept the argument that this is a huge weight for a child to bear alone but I would have to argue that by telling a parent you could add to the weight as well as give the child someone to share it with. No one knows what goes on behind locked doors and although on the surface it seems that by telling the parents that the child is having an abortion SHOULD give the child/teenager someone to share the burden with the parent could decide to go the other way and make the child/teenagers life a misery from then on, Im sure my mother would!

As for your remark about age limit Patriarch "consider people as young as 13 or 14 to be adults" I know some girls (and boys) who are mature enough to handle sex at 13 or 14 but I also know people who cant until their 20s yet still do it, there is no way to gauge maturity and no way to put a set age on it because no teenager is the same wich makes the question of when someone is an adult a difficult one. I know when I was 15 I found it patronising to be seen as a child because I had been mentally and philically mature for at leats a year but I also see under 16s who I would be overprotective of despite them not being my children.


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animatEd
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK

Total posts: 3540
Posted:Going way back, here:
Written by: Patriarch917

Parents being informed about their daughter getting an abortion? Preposterous!

Next thing you know, they'll want to notify the father of the child.

As you can see, it is a very slippery slope. If we're not careful, soon we'll start requiring them to notify the unborn child!

Logically, its the only way to go:

This is just one more step in their plot to end everybody's fun.




Anyone seen Demolition Man? wink


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Patriarch917

One can argue that the age at which you are considered a responsible adult should be lowered. I am particularly attracted to this argument, and have at times been willing to consider people as young as 13 or 14 to be adults (especially if they are a rapist or a murderer).




I'm not entirely sure I agree, but I do believe in gradiated privileging. We allow 16-year-olds to drive in this country.

Fact is that if you're old enough to screw, you're old enough to get pregnant (or to get someone pregnant). There's no set age, but the youngest expectant mother I've seen is 13. (I can tell you all about it another time, but it was wierd because grandma-to-be and great-grandma-to-be were all excited about it eek )

Written by:
The question is whether a minor (whatever age she is) should be allowed to receive medical treatment without her parents being allowed to know.

To remove some of the emotional aspects of abortion, perhaps it would be better to ask first whether parents should be notified if their child were to undergo plastic surgery.

Like abortion, plastic surgery is usually an elective procedure that carries with it the possibility that the parents will not approve. It is also occasionally dangerous, and can have lasting physical and emotional consequences for a child.




Here's the problem:
1) Plastic surgery does not necessarily treat a pathologic condition, and if it does, it doesn't treat a progressive one. Abortion also does not treat a pathologic condition (necessarily) but it does treat a progressive phsyiolgic condition that a) places the mother at significant physical risk, ESPECIALLY in the absence of good prenatal care and b) has the potential to cause significant emotional consequences for the pregnant child.

2) About the prenatal care bit...if we require parental notification, how early do you think these pregnant girls are going to be going to the doctor about their pregnancy? Yeah, not terribly early, right? Probably either when they show, or for the obese ones, they can hide it pretty much right up to delivery (no, I am *NOT* being facetious, I'm dead serious and I've seen it dozens of times already). So what about the well-being of the fetus, eh?

3) An abortion is not the same as plastic surgery. It's an emotionally charged thing and families react to it very differently than they do other procedures. It is that very emotionally charged nature that makes abortions different from removal of a large nevus (mole) or correction of a hernia.

4) In the USA, once a minor has a child, that minor becomes an "emancipated minor." I believe that if anti-abortion people want to put their money where their mouths are, then they should move that status up to the moment of conception. After all, if the fetus is alive.... wink

In reality, rarely do abortions happen without the parents knowing about it. The girl goes to the doctor who counsels her and also advises her to bring her parents in and then the parental notification is done in the office in a controlled setting.

But, morals aside, let's just talk business.

IF parental notification laws are in effect there is some fairly good evidence that teenage girls will attempt to undergo unsafe abortions ranging from sticking foreign objects into their uterus to taking unsafe drugs. I've seen these things happen at my hospital and I have seen a 16-year-old girl sterilize herself that way due to uterine scarring. One 20-year-old woman wound up in the ICU with a bad infection due to an attempted self abortion.

I prefer not to focus on the principle, but on outcomes.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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thegreatBJ


Woman! Not gay Man!
Location: Hull...ish

Total posts: 332
Posted:Doc Lighting I whant to ask you (and you dont have to answer) but if the law on notification was passed but it was upto the doctors judgement as a third party (wich some people have suggested is a good idea) would you notify any parents or just the ones you think are fit... and could you see yourself successfully judging a parent as "fit" to deal with a pregnant daughter?

and I thik the youngest mother in this country was 11 almost 12 (wich is shockingly young)


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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: Sethis

Patriarch, you will insist on dodging definitions of what constitutes a child rolleyes.

You say a "Child with an 18 year old boyfriend". That could be anyone from 4 to 17, because according to your previous posts, you haven't given an age as to when you think people should be considered "Adult".

You seem to characterize the "18 yr old + Girl" as an "Abusive relationship". I'm not sure whether that's a mistake in punctuation or what, because *I* date a 17 yr old (whom you have not yet made clear whether you would consider her a child or not) and I'm 18. Am I abusive? What if I wanted to date a 15 yr old when I was 16? Is that abuse? Please explain a bit, because I hope I'm mistaken in how I'm reading your post.




I think thegreatbj's post that came a little after yours pretty much explains why I am reluctant to commit to a hard number. Everyone matures at different rates.

However, if you want to stay in the context of statutory rape (as per my example) I also can't give a hard number since it varies from state to state, and from country to country. This is a very international forum, so for me to use my state's ages (18 and 14) wouldn't work for everyone.

You're right though, I do try to dodge defining what a child is, since I don't see that as crucial to the debate. I prefer that we agree that there is something called a child, and proceed from there.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: thegreatBJ

Doc Lighting I whant to ask you (and you dont have to answer) but if the law on notification was passed but it was upto the doctors judgement as a third party (wich some people have suggested is a good idea) would you notify any parents or just the ones you think are fit... and could you see yourself successfully judging a parent as "fit" to deal with a pregnant daughter?

and I thik the youngest mother in this country was 11 almost 12 (wich is shockingly young)



Oh, I'm sure they've been younger than that.

I know that we don't typically tell parents about sensitive issues regarding their teens. By law a parent can get copies of their kid's medical records, and then I suppose the cat's out of the bag, but I take confidentiality very seriously.

Laws about parental notification vary from state to state. In Michigan, I couldn't even mention abortion to any patient. In New York, I can, and I don't have to tell the parents.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Patriarch: I know what you mean, I think arbitrary age definitions of what constitues an "Adult" is a bit silly, but the entire issue here is basically one of a law being passed, where age is a very important factor. The difference of a few days could mean parental notification or not. Insane, yes it probably is.

But how else are you supposed to legislate it? I'm aware that many countries use different numbers, so how about we stick with the ones for the country where these laws could be passed i.e. England. Where you are arguably an adult from the age of 16 (don't even *talk* to me about how stupid that is) but there is also the grey area between 16 and 18.

Maybe we should have some kind of "Maturity exam" where we are determined to be an adult or not... wink


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I want go back to a point and expand/hyperfocus/obsess:

THE BABY.

Let's leave aside, for a moment, the moral implications of parents right to be involved in their childrens' health care and whether god wants abortions and abstinence.

Ok, 15-year-old Lucy (or, more likely, sadly due to the inequities of the system, Tamiesha) gets knocked up. Now, there are TWO lives we're dealing with here. See, there's Lucy/Kwamiesha and there's the baby.

Now, if the baby is aborted, it's a non-issue. The well-being (or lack thereof) of the baby is taken care of.

But if Lucy/Tamiesha can't get care for this condition, whether abortion or not, without momma finding about it, guess what's going to happen? Yup, you guessed it, she isn't going to go get *ANY* medical care.

No prenatal care? That puts the fetus at risk, especially if Lucy/Tamiesha is drinkin', smokin', and tokin'. And when Lucy/Tamiesha presents suddenly in labor and she's had no prenatal care and there's a problem that could have been managed had she had prenatal care, who suffers the most?

Now, you may say that I'm stereotyping and that I'm being cynical. I'm not.

In fact, I see just this exact situation every day when I go to work. I see teenage mothers who weren't educated properly in contraception who got pregnant who were in denial, who got no prenatal care, and who come in and have some very damaged babies due to causes that could have been easily avoided with some good prenatal care.

And who suffers most in this? It's not Lucy/Tamiesha, it's not Lucy/Tamiesha's mom, it's...

The Baby.

Yes, the baby. The innocent child who had no say in all of this. So while teenagers were screwing and in denial and not thinking about the consequences of their actions because they were too afraid of the other consequences (their parents finding out) the baby got hurt.

And that is one of many reasons why parental notification is bad. Because it hurts babies.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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