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17 April 2013

Parental Consent for Abortion: Philosophy in Action Podcast


On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on parental consent for abortion. The question was:

Should minor girls be required by law to obtain parental consent for an abortion? Normally, parents are legally empowered to make medical decisions for their minor children, and minors cannot obtain medical procedures without parental consent. How should that apply in the case of pregnancy? Should pregnancy and abortion be treated differently from other medical conditions? Should parents be allowed by law to force a daughter under 18 to carry a pregnancy to term or to abort against her will?

My Answer, In Brief: Parents should never be able to force a minor child to bear the burden and risk of carrying a pregnancy to term and giving birth. Hence, parental consent should not be required for abortion. However, a minor child cannot impose the burden of caring for another child on her parents, and so she might need to emancipate herself if she does not wish to terminate the pregnancy but her parents do.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:

Tags: Abortion, Ethics, Health, Law, Parenting, Pregnancy, Religion, Rights, Sex, Young Adults

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on moral judgments of obese people, parental consent for abortion, atheist as a negative term, living longer, and more – is available here: Episode of 14 April 2013.

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