Underage Abortion

Ok I have a simple question about underage abortion. But first…

This is not a debate on abortion in general I just want an answere to a question but I think this should probably be here so here goes.

When I was 17 years old I was in a car accident while driving to work. I totaled my car and my boss drove me to the ER and dropped me off. I called my folks but they weren’t home. The doctors would not touch me because I was underage. I was fine and I didn’t show any outward symptoms. (no bleeding or fainting) So they didn’t even take my BP. So why can a doctor perform an abortion on an minor?

Also (this may be totally wrong) but a minor can’t enter into a contract. Isn’t the minor entering into a contract for services with the doctor? I know minors can purchase things but I think an medical procedure is different. Isn’t it?

Again I do not want to debate abortion. I just want an answere to my questions.


You’ve raised a big sticking point. Most medical procedures indeed require the parent’s approval. The theory behind not requiring it for an abortion is that the girl might be afraid to ask her parents, and take steps that endanger her life.

If you’re against abortion, that’s unacceptable. If you are in favor of it, you don’t want a girl to be prevented from doing what she wants just because her parents won’t allow it. I’m not going to argue who’s right or who’s wrong. :slight_smile:

I remember I was once in superior court in Massachusetts, the Judge came in late and explained that she had been making determinations on underage abortions. Apparently, Massachusetts requires parental consent, but the girl can also get permission from a judge, if her parents won’t consent, or maybe even if she doesn’t want to approach her parents at all.

Unlike less controversial procedures abortion has been challenged in court both pro and con for the reasons stated above. If a minor shows up and the hospital and doesn’t have any life threatening injuries there is absolutely upside to providing treatment without parental consent. In some states denying an abortion would make the hospital liable.

Laws have been twisted around by special interest groups on both sides so nothing makes any sense anymore.

This, of course, makes the point moot for the girl. Many pregnant girls don’t want their parents to find out that they’re having sex and/or pregnant. Even after getting the judge’s approval and the abortion, they still have to face their parents.

(Going “Great Debates” here for a bit)
I myself am torn on the issue. I used to be strongly pro-choice, basically for the freedom of choice of the mother. Then my wife and I had trouble conceiving, and were overjoyed when we finally did. Now, any story about abandoned babies chokes up both of us. I couldn’t imagine having someone close to me choose abortion. If my daughter ever became pregnant, I might be mad, but I’d still encourage her to carry it to term, then decide whether to put it up for adoption or keep it.

Adoption lists are so long all over the country. There should be no problem placing babies rather than aborting them.

(This is weird. I wonder if this is how it felt when Ronald Reagan went from Democrat to Republican. :D)

I think that any doctor trying to abort a fetus that is over 18 years old would have a major legal problem… to say nothing of the medical problem.

However, it is perfect legal to retroactively abort fetuses under age 18, in most states. Especially teens. And if it isn’t, it should be. Kids, don’t irk your parents.