Is 14 old enough to decide on your own if you want an abortion?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Stelliform, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

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    #1
    Since cool heads have been the norm and not the exception around here, lets push the envelope... And it is a BBC news article. (Hey Skunk, who's looking out for you. ;))

    Anyway, 14 year old, gets preggers, talks to the school nurse, nurse talks her into the abortion pill, they administer it without telling her mother, her mother finds out, tells daughter not to abort, but it is too late.

    Link

    I think this goes beyond abortion rights here and more into parental rights. I don't want my kids getting any medical treatment without my knowledge and consent. Granted they are young right now, but I know my mom was at every doctor visit I had until I was 18. Anyway, what do you guys think...

    Beyond abortion rights, should a school be able to administer medication without parents knowledge? Should kids who are pregnant have to tell their parents before they have an abortion? Is there an age limit to get a tattoo in England? I know in the US many places require parental permission if you are under 18. Is an abortion less important than a tattoo? Shouldn't the parent know, so they can talk to their kid about STD's? Be nice guys!
     
  2. Bobcat37 macrumors member

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    #2
    I'm going to guess you don't want the "they shouldn't get abortions even if their parents OK it" response.

    So playing along with the topic, and pretending I'm not anti-abortion, I think the parents should be informed. 14 is too young to make a decision like that on your own (and no, the school nurse doesn't count). 14 year olds can't even drive or vote, how should we expect them to make a potentially life altering decision like that by themself? And as you said, an abortion is a medical treatment, which should ALWAYS have parental consent involved.

    Kids hide plenty of things from their parents, an abortion should NOT be one of them.

    (PS- Stelliform, check the stem cell topic for my huge response if interested)
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #3
    parents are responsible for their kids until the age of 18. so, the parents should definitely be informed. plus, 14 is too young to be making major life decisions anyway.
     
  4. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #4

    everything i say after this line is 'as far as i know' because i am neither female nor do i remeber the details of the discussio na few years ago here..

    hm here it is differentiated between 'the pill the day after' (i forgot the real name) and the other abortion

    1. 'the pill the day after': (the pill who you take for example if the preservative gets damaged aka. 'accident' ... and stops the egg to start growing in the uterus...) this you can get >14 and older without asking the parents..these pills are available not only at doctors but also in emercengy rooms because they have to be taken within 24 hours or something...but when i think about it i'm not sure ..perhaps it was 14/15 when your show up with your friend the accident happend (or parents)... and when 16 and above your can show up alone

    2. abortion : if you are 16 and older it is the decision between the woman and her doctor and nobody else
    younger than 16...parents have to know


    personally i had no problems visiting the doctor alone when i was older than 15/16
    i was still 17 when i was checked for the conscription service but i don't know where those did get their 'doctor' ;)
     
  5. Bobcat37 macrumors member

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    #5
    Yeah, I think it is referred to as "the day after pill" here. As far as I know is basically a pill that gives you a chemically induced abortion, just in case the sex you had accidentally formed a new life (whoops :p). Of course, I am vehemently against such a pill (if it is offered at abortion clinics, that is one thing, but if it is offered over the counter, bad bad bad)... but at Stelliform's request, that isn't what this topic is about, so I'll end my rant there.
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    Presumably, if they are in need of this advice, they have already taken a major life decision...
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #7
    i'm not familiar w/ british law, but that strikes me as criminal.
     
  8. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #8
    I agree: this is collusion. The "Nanny State" strikes again.
     
  9. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #9
    intresting but for me that wouldn't be surprising

    her in school we have the position of a school-doctor (which in practice is in most cases a woman) who is, additional to the annual rountine tests, responsible for 'sexual education' or as we guys called it: "girly questions" ... such things can happen here too... on some things (and lower ages) parents have to be informed and on others not
    during 8 years 4-6 friends from me had been taken to hospital before informing the parents.. (2-3 broken arms/legs and other smaller things)
     
  10. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #10
    Well, there's a cultural aspect to this that should be explored before this gets too far. The UK and Europe allow young people certain rights at an earlier age than in the US. A healthy attitude IMO because there is no magic transformation on turning 18. Sex is also treated differently and the age of consent is, even to me, sometimes shockingly low. If the law allows a teen to have sex at 14, shouldn't it also allow that teen to make a decision about the possible consequences? Maybe what's needed in the US is the recognition that adulthood doesn't suddenly take place at 18 and is a slow process starting in the early teens.

    Here it seems that it is all too often an Us Vs Them battle and common sense loses out. If you don't want your kid going to the school nurse for a pill then you damned well better pay attention to what they're doing and make sure they're informed before they start to have sex. Either that or have them go to a private religious school where any discussion of sex is taboo so that by the time they're 18 the only knowledge they have about sex is what they get from their peers in the playground. Or, buy them a chastitiy belt....
     
  11. Bobcat37 macrumors member

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    #11
    Well a broken appendage is quite a bit different from an abortion. Something like a broken appendage could be pretty serious, and need medical attention immidiately. However, you think there would be plenty of time to alert a parent before possibly giving a minor an abortion or day-after-pill.

    Well I agree that with each generation, kids do seem to be growing up faster. Of course, along the same lines I don't necessarily think this is a good thing. We already teach sex ed in 5th grade (at least that is when I had it). Personally I question if that is already too early to attempt at teaching it in a classroom environment... I seem to remember the class was pretty lame, as all we ever did was laugh and make jokes about it. Sure if parents want to tell their kids about sex at that age, that is probably good, but to have a whole class on it in 5th grade seems iffy (6th or 7th might be a bit more appropriate).

    As for your second statement, as I said above, I agree that parents should be responsible for their kids and making sure they understand all the necessary elements involving sex. However, your comment about religious schools was a little uncalled for. I see nothing wrong with explaining how human reproduction works. I think most religious schools teach sexual education ALONG WITH abstinence until marriage (or something along those lines). That is the difference. FYI, I can't exactly prove this, but that is what I would assume.
     
  12. kerb macrumors regular

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    #12
    An interesting argument in favour of the the 14 year old having secrecy is this.

    The girl gets pregnant and wants an abortion. However she doesn't want one if it means she has to tell her parents. So she puts it off and the foetus becomes viable. She has the kid and her life changes drastically.

    If she was allowed the abortion secretly she may have it and the whole crisis is avoided.

    It also works with STDs. If a kid gets an STD and they are underage but are forced to tell their parents to get medical care they may avoid saying so. In secret however they may seek treatment.
     
  13. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #13
    Not to over generalize, but I think your statement points out one of the fundamental differences between the US and a smaller European country like Austria. Austria is fairly homogenous, ok, well Austrians are as much a melange as Americans but the culture is whereas in the US, there are many who object on hospitalization on religious/cultural/moral grounds and of course financial grounds as the insured increasingly are a minority here. It is very hard to come to a consensus here whereas I would think it would be much simpler in Austria.

    I think a lot of parents would be glad to have a morning after pill offered their daughters but there are many here who would also force their child to go through with the pregnancy. At 14, I think either decision would be a heavy burden.

    What may please Stelliform and his fellow Louisianans, wouldn't be very popular here in CA.


    To be fair, this has caused a huge stir in the UK as well. But it is interesting that the UK has the second highest teen birth rate after the US and it is due in part to the reluctance of parents and the education system dealing with sex ed. in a straighforward way. The need for the morning after pill would be a lot less if we based sex ed. on the truth instead of abstinence only programs that clearly don't work and only end up doing a disservice to teens.
     
  14. Bobcat37 macrumors member

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    #14
    I would definitely agree with that Ugg.

    Well, the fact is abstinence is the only way to 100% guarantee you won't get pregnant (if you are a girl) or get any STDs (if you are girl or boy). Also, I would love to see some statistics that show teaching abstinence doesn't work, because I always had believed the statistics showed the opposite was true.
     
  15. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #15
    As the husband of an RN who works in Labor & Delivery and seems to have one or more 12-14 year old kids delivering each night, and having had to deal with her grief over the two kids that age who have died during childbirth this year, and having listened to stories of stillborns, which are more prevalent at that age, and of kids who end up wasting their lives - one came in having her fifth child at age 19 (staggering, to me), I agree that any measure which reduces the number of pregnant children is a good thing.

    If not telling parents will help, I'm all for it. Birth control in schools? All for it. If telling parents stops a child from either not getting pregnant or from terminating an early pregnancy - where the risk of the termination is less than the risk of continuing with the pregnancy - then I oppose any attempt to force parents to be told.

    Any parent who would force a school to tell them and thus shame their child into doing nothing until it is too late - and then risking her life during childbirth, and allowing it to be wasted thereafter if she delivers a child... that parent does not deserve the child.

    Should parents be told a child is getting antibiotics (or other treatment) to get rid of an STD? Not if it'll stop the kid from taking the drugs.

    Basically, I think parent's right stop when they would allow a parent to risk their children's health. At any age.
     
  16. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #16
    it said 'scanning' ...or did i get that wrong ?

    here minor is below 14
    14-17 is teenager but there is difference between 14/15 and 16/17
    which means a hell lot of complicate laws

    and with neither teen pregnancy nor teen abortion being very high compared to other countrys around

    whats the definition of minor in the US or UK ? here it ranging from -14 to -21 depending on law

    14: sex allowed(with partners on same age or little bit older)/but on exchange you have to take full responsibilty for your crimes (most of them but not all)
    16: smoking/drinking beer&wine /driving small motorcycles/vespas
    18: right to vote/drive car /full sexual rights/ hard alcohol allowed
    21: some notaric & business stuff and other small reall unimportant things
     
  17. Bobcat37 macrumors member

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    #17
    Minor basically means under 18 in the US. However, you have to be 21 to drink here. That is one right a non-minor does not get immediately.
     
  18. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #18
    I think this one's easy: "No." And I'm pro-choice.
     
  19. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #19
    To which question(s)?

     
  20. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #20
    The best approach is to start early and introduce a little info at a time. There's no point in giving a 12 year old a complete rundown on sex but it's a good time to start and every following year introduce more age-specific info.

    Abstinence only programs work for a couple of years and then the kids who took part in them go hog wild, however, now they don't have any info about what is safe and what is not and from what I've read, most are ignorant on what it takes to make a baby.

    Once again, if you want your kid to be sheltered from the big bad world, turn off the tv, put them in a religious school and buy them a chastity belt. If you can't do that, then educate them about their bodies, STDs and what it takes to make a baby. If you do that, then the chances are good that you will never be faced with the above scenario.

    Knowing how to use a condom is not a crime against humanity and should not be treated as such.
     
  21. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #21
    As mentioned above, my wife helps 12 year old kids deliver their babies. I'd argue that 12 is a little late for the facts of life. Essentially, they should know it all before hitting puberty.
     
  22. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #22

    actually exactly the same discussion came up when the "day after pill" was introduced here... and with exactly i mean it literally
    "austria is pretty homogenous"...but the important missing word is "catholic" ..86-90% here are catholic (similiar to france) ... and with the catholic church being opposed to abortion it made quite a intresting sometimes ugly discussion ..without violence of course ...

    because of actuality i will throw this in:
    most fiercing anti abortion bishop was the bishop of st. pölten dr. Kurt Krenn which (oh the irony) is a little bit handicapped now because in the priest-seminar in his diocese (sp?) there was child-porn scandal with the additional bonus of pictures from two priests kissing each other in the seminar...now the consequences: police investigating against those owners of that computer,the pope sent out a 'visitator' (like it happened in Boston), the press is grinning, the the pope forbid the Bishop talking to the press after the bishop said "i don't care a **** about the other bishops and the kardinal"(yes he used the sh.. word) in a interview where he was definatly drunk.....etc.
    to say that the opposition against abortion is having problems at the moment would be fitting ;)

    actually there are countries where teen pregnancy is higher than in the UK ...i thought bulgary,latvia and a few other small ones have higher ones (actully russia has a lower one) ...japan and switzerland are having 1 digit numbers as far as i have looked it up but i might be wrong

    perhaps new sexual ed. guidlines will help against the increasing amount of STDs too ? who knows
     
  23. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #23
    Planned Parenthood's statement

    Article on a Minnesota study of its heavily funded and promoted abstinence only program.

    Abstinence only is stupid. There isn't a switch in humans that allows us to turn our sexual feelings on and off. What we do know, is that the more completely we educate children and teens, the more informed their decisions will be. When we teach driver's ed., do we only teach how to push the gas pedal or do we also teach how to use the brakes?

    Sex ed. needs to include the good, the bad and the ugly of ALL aspects of sex. They need to know that condoms fail sometimes, birth control pills can have side effects and some STDs can kill you, but they also need to be taught that sex is a natural expression of who we are and that you won't burn in hell for having pre-marital sex.
     
  24. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #24
    I had no abstinence program and still waited until I was 20. In my case, though, it was due to shyness and a resulting lack of options. Sex ed, common sense, etc. taught me enough to use birth control thereafter.

    And I though abstinence-only programs push waiting until you were married to have intercourse - did you fail by doing something six months early? ;)
     
  25. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #25
    thanks for that i wasn't sure first i thought minor means below 16 (because you are allowed to drive with 16 in the US..or is that only in some states?)

    well the "you have to be 21 to drink" thing completly destroys the atmosphere of those hollywood teenage movies with those parties where everybody gets wasted after 2 beers out of plastic/paper cups...i love that...(that and the american obsession with those metal lockers on the corridor...do they really exist or are they just a hollywood thing)

    edit:
    to make my post more on topic:
    i was raised as a open minded catholic (if such a thing can exist) and influenced by liberal opinions from my mother ,central opinions from my father,conservative opinions from my grandfather and completle lack of interest in polictics by my grand mother (both have been living with us in the house)
    i got sexual education in small bites across the years starting with 7-8 and up to 14 in a combination of books,school,tv (no cabel/sat dish untill i was 12 )...i have to say that the sex ed in our school was very good and we had broad lessons about pregnancy prevention etc. (our teachers general advise was to use combinations of completly different methods) our class had to learn the female cyclus (with our class being 17 boys and 2 girls made it amusing) and we got multiple tests about 'how much we now' about this and that which methods are the savest/which methods protect you better from STDs etc.
    anybody remembers the 'femidom' also know as "the condom for women" we even had a lesson about that
     

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