Should girls under eighteen hide their abortion from their parents?
by eli.morin on September 9, 2013 - 10:08pm
Nowadays, we can clearly notice an increase in the number of abortions and especially for the girls less than eighteen years of age. That is why the article I chose to summarize and analyse is about minor girls getting abortions and whether they can keep that information secret from their parents.
In this article, it is obvious that the authors, W. E. Jacobs and Nancy Sprague, are in favor for telling the parents about their daughter’s abortion. They state that this is a serious medical undertaking which should be announced to parents of under-eighteen-year-old girls. They also say that those parents have the right to know about their daughter’s pregnancy and then the right to offer help and guidance throughout this procedure. The authors think that telling the parents when a young girl is about to get an abortion would make those girls realise all the consequences that sexual activities can have and all the complications that could happen during this risky medical procedure. In the same way of thoughts, the main point of their article is that hiding an abortion can only contribute to a family disruption. They say that it is a direct attack on the profound meaning of family support because the role of parents should be reduced to only providing food and housing by not telling them about the pregnancy situation.
This side of the debate represents the ethical principle “Family First” because minor girls should tell their parents about getting an abortion which should help them in getting support and different points of view. It also represents many values such as parental responsibilities, family, security and honesty which all should push girls under eighteen years old to tell their parents about their situation.
However, in this article, even if the authors clearly mention their position in the debate, they state that young girls could have the tendency to hide pregnancy and sexual activities by fear to be embarrassed, grounded, lectured and prohibited to see their boyfriend again. The main ethical principle that could represent this side of the debate is “Respect of Autonomy” because all the reasons the authors mention for not telling the parents are enough to actually decide to hide the abortion.
Therefore, I truly think that minor girls with autonomy and individual freedom values are mature and autonomic at a point that they can repair their own mistake without telling their parents. In this article, the side of the debate for telling the parents appears to be stronger than the one for hiding abortion but in my opinion, I think that it is the contrary because if they decide to hide pregnancy, it is obviously because they have a good reason; maybe they know their parents will get really upset and some of them will not provide support even if they know about it. However, what kind of support could parents provide to their daughter under eighteen after they know about their thought of getting an abortion?
Jacobs, W.E.Sprague, Nancy. "Point: Parents Must Be Notified In Advance Of An Abortion On Women Under 18." Points Of View: Abortion & Minors (2013): 2. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 9 Sept. 2013.