Why does my daughter have a constitutional right …

In the state of Alaska, my 16 year old daughter has a “constitutional right” to an abortion without my notification or consent, but she has to have my permission to:
-register for school
-get a tylenol from the school nurse
-get her driver’s license
-receive any other medical procedure other than an abortion

She can’t even get married without my consent! In our state, if she were 14 or 15, she would require a court order to allow her to marry, but she can get an abortion (if she were pregnant-probably should have stated that earlier!) without anyone’s approval.

This “right” was determined by our state Supreme Court when it ruled in 2007 that a 1997 law requiring parental consent for minors to have an abortion was an unconstitutional violation of the minor’s right to privacy.

Our legislature has attempted to pass a new law addressing the Court’s concerns. Additionally, a citizens’ initiative has just been approved for the ballot, making it illegal to perform an abortion on a minor without parental consent. That initiative is being challenged in court by Planned Parenthood.

Set aside your position on abortion for a minute. Does this make sense? We grant parents almost unlimited access to all aspects of a child’s life, and in fact parents are expected to make decisions for minors in all other major aspects of their life. Why not when making decisions regarding dealing with an unplanned pregnancy? Certainly this has to be a traumatic time in the young girl’s life. Fears, emotions, societal pressures all crashing around in her head, and this time she doesn’t need her parents’ support?

I have some theories on the why, but I’ll hold off. I want to understand the full spectrum of positions on this issue. Your thoughts?


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