Abortion: Parents' Rights Should Equal Parental Responsibility

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If your 13-year-old daughter wants to have her ears pierced or even get an aspirin from the school nurse, the chances are she will need parental consent. But if she walked into a clinic and had an abortion last week, you may never have known about it.

That's because groups like Planned Parenthood don't believe you have the right to know about your minor daughter's decision to have this life-changing medical procedure.

Fortunately, there are other groups like the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) who have fought to defend Arizona's abortion parental consent law so it can now be enforced.

On Friday, Feb. 21, the Ninth Circuit Court declined to hear a request by Planned Parenthood for a rehearing of the Court's Oct. 9, 2002 decision upholding the law as constitutional.

The people of Arizona have passed parental consent laws for more than a decade, only to have them struck down and tied up in court. But now it appears that the voice of the people has finally been heard and the battle won.

Last week's court ruling clears the way for enforcement of the law within days.

Arizona's parental consent law is sensible - in order to obtain an abortion in Arizona, a minor will have to have the consent of at least one parent. There are certain exceptions such as with rape or incest, but the crime must be reported and evidence forwarded to law enforcement authorities.

Abortion is a critical decision that carries a frightening list of dangers including an increased risk of infertility, breast cancer, ectopic pregnancy, complications in future pregnancies, depression and elevated suicide rates. It is hard to imagine how anyone can honestly convince themselves that parents do not have the right to be involved in this life-altering decision for their minor children.

We, as parents, are held legally responsible for the health and well-being of our minor children. We can even face criminal charges for neglecting that responsibility.

Perhaps Len Munsil, an attorney and CAP President, said it best, "Parental rights relating to the medical treatment of our children do not end at the doors of an abortion clinic."

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