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Abortion is described as the intentional termination of a human pregnancy that occurs before the 28th week of pregnancy. It's a contentious topic that has elicited both criticism and support in nearly equal measure. Medical professionals and academics contend that abortion has long-term consequences for those who undergo the procedure. Psychological torture and physical side effects are only a few examples. Given the risks, it is best that the parents of people who have resorted to performing abortions are advised before the procedure is carried out. Abortion procedures are divided into many categories, but the end result is the same. That is, to terminate the pregnancy or rather to get rid of the baby that is developing in the womb. Arguably, life begins at conception. Meaning, when the male and female gemmates fuse together to form a zygote which is anticipated to grow into an embryo and ultimately into a fully grown baby over a period of time. With respect to this argument, termination of a pregnancy may be equated to murder. That is, regardless of the pregnancy stage. It is therefore advisable for the minors who are pregnant to seek for parental advice from their parents. It is because getting rid of a growing human being is a big decision to make. Therefore, by consulting their parents, they may get proper guidelines and counsel on how to about the difficult situation. Moreover, parents are most likely to understand and embrace the situation thus relieving the minors off psychological torture.
In addition, notification of parents may help in reducing the number of abortions that are carried out. It may in the sense that, parents may advice the minors not to carry on with the process and offer to help them through the process. Vaughn notes that “Flowers says she knows about young women who have regretted having abortions” (211). This implies that women go through a lot of difficulties after they have aborted. Suffering from psychological and mental disturbances may lead to severe health effects in young women who have terminated their pregnancy. This may be avoided by simply informing the parents who may convince them not to carry on with the process.
Medical practitioners argue that there are circumstances that may require abortion to be performed in order to protect the life of a pregnant woman. Meaning, in the event that the pregnancy possess a serious threat to the health or well-being of the bearer, doctors may be obliged to terminate it. At this point, one may argue that the procedure should be considered as any other medical operation. Perceiving aborting in light of these events renders the doctors or medical practitioners obliged to inform the pregnant woman’s next of kin or parents. This is because of the obvious reasons concerned with consent to medical operations such as acceptance of liability. As such, the medical practitioners responsible for carrying out the abortion are required to notify the parents and perhaps seek their consent before proceeding with the process. That is in case the bearer of the pregnancy is a minor.
Some people may argue that whether or not the unborn has a right to life, it does not have a right to sustain its life by using the mother's body against her will. In addition, one may claim that the consequences of abortion are felt entirely by the bearer of the pregnancy. As such, they do not need to consult their parents in the event that they decide to get rid of the pregnancy (Ramesh et al. 291). This means that the pregnant women are the ones who bear the consequences of abortion and not their parents and so the decision to terminate it lies with them and not their parents. Much as this argument may have a point, the process of abortion is a matter of life and death. Therefore, a pregnant minor may be bound to seek consent from the parents. It is because they are still their parents’ responsibilities as long as they are still within the age bracket of a minor.
Legally speaking, a parent should be sued if his or her daughter succumbs to death in the process of aborting without their knowledge. This is because they are held responsible for the minors in the society and should pay keen attention to what goes on in the lives of their daughters. As such, there is dire need for medical practitioners responsible for the process of abortion to contact the parents and notify them about their daughter’s decision. On the same note, parents may decide to sue the medical practitioners who perform abortion on their daughters. This may be done on grounds that they were not consulted as the primary care-takers before the process was carried out and thus hold the practitioners liable for the death of their unborn grandchildren. Thus, parents need to be notified in order to avoid legal issues that may arise from the process.
Notably, abortion has a myriad side effects both on the women who perform it and their social environment. However, the side effects may differ among women or girls. It may depend on how the procedure was carried out and the general environment in which the women or girls live among other factors. In line with this, it is highly recommended that the parents of a girls be notified as soon as possible. It is because they may be of help with respect to recovery if they are well aware of the situation at hand. The women or girls may be subjected to emotional and physical pain as well as long term effects that may be avoided if the received proper care from their parents. There may be feelings of sadness, stress, regret, guilt, despair, and emotional pain. According to Larew, the side effects of abortion may escalate to dangerous levels thus the victims may be predisposed to unhealthy behaviours such as abuse of alcohol or drugs (34). Larew implies that the individuals who have undergone abortion may be affected to the extent of resorting to drug and substance abuse which put their lives in jeopardy. In worst case scenarios, they may fall sick and even die from the effects of abortion. Certainly this may be avoided by simply notifying their parents who are most likely to provide them with a favourable environment for recovery.
However, others may argue that it is not wise to notify the parents about an abortion procedure; for the obvious reason that they might just be repulsive and reject them for their actions. As Ramesh et al., put it, the girls might even go through more suffering as a result of rejection by the parents (292). This may be right to some extent in that there are no assurances that they will be accepted and treated nicely after terminating the pregnancy. However, it beats logic if an individual prefer to go through the hardship of recovery from abortion all alone to informing the parents and risking rejection. Moreover the law has it that as long as one is still a minor, they are entitled to proper care by the parents regardless of what they have done in their lives. In addition, most parents would rather forego the mistakes of their daughters and take god care of them than, watch them suffer as a result of rejection after they have aborted.
It is therefore in the best interest of everyone that parents are notified of an individual’s decision to abort. It helps in avoiding legal issues that may arise in the event that the parents find out. Notification of the parents also helps individuals with respect to recovery as the parents become aware and take care of them. Further, it helps in the management of side effects and finally, medical practitioners are obliged to notify the parents for purposes of consent as it may be considered a major surgery.
Larew, M. D. "Confidentiality and Privacy Issues in the Health Care of Adolescents." (2014).
Ramesh, Shanthi, Lindsay Zimmerman, and Ashlesha Patel. "Impact Of Parental Notification On Illinois Minors Seeking Abortion". Journal of Adolescent Health 58.3 (2016): 290-294.
Vaughn, Lewis. "Abortion." Doing Ethics Moral Reasoning and Contemporary Issues, 4th ed., W. W. Norton & Company, 2015, pp. 211-212.
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