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Abortion, The Morning After Pill, And Teens--Where To Draw The Line?

By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

According to Rasmussen Reports:

Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans say 17-year-olds should be required to consult a parent before taking the so-called "morning after" pill to prevent pregnancy. Thirty percent (30%) do not think it is necessary for 17-year-olds to discuss the pill with a parent first, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Men and women have virtually identical views on this question.

My normal approach to pregnancy issues is, the future of that pregnancy should be determined by the woman who is pregnant without restrictions during the first three months of pregnancy.

In the case of 17-year-olds using the so-called "morning after" pill, I have one reservation. Since parents are still required by law to support and care for their children until the children reach adulthood at age 18, clearly the parent has a greater interest in a 17-year-old's pregnancy than in an 18-year-old's pregnancy.

The problem with arguing that all 17-year-olds should have to consult their parents before taking the morning after pill, (as opposed to having an abortion) is that there's no way to prove the 17-year-old was or may have been pregnant.

There's also no data that I know of reporting whether minor teens who tell their parents they are pregnant are more or less likely to have abortions. One women's rights leader once told me there is anecdotal data showing pregnant teens who tell their parents are more likely to be advised by their parents to have abortions, instead of being counseled to become unwed teenage mothers. But I open it up to conversation here to debate that point.

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By Bonnie Erbe