Minors do not have the ability to reason and make a thorough risk assessment and therefore should not have the full constitutional rights that are given to adults. With this being said, minors should not be allowed to obtain abortions without the consent of a parent or guardian. There seems to be an inconsistency in determining Just how much rights minors should have and the determination of when a particular law infringes either on the parent’s rights or the minors rights.
According to Barman (19961 she attempts to explain the inconsistencies by stating, “The laws devised to govern teenagers are layered, reflecting society’s alternating perceptions of teenagers as adult-like and child-like, and our accompanying impulses to respect as well as to protect this population”. I am not convinced that all laws surrounding an age restriction is driven by a concern to protect but we do have these laws in place and in each instance we have to wonder if they are actually effective.
For example, the age at which a minor can join the military is eighteen, but the same eighteen year old who may possess the cognitive skills to determine whether he/she would like risk his/her life by joining the military cannot pull the handle of a slot machine until twenty-one as we all know risking your finances is a far greater risk thank losing your life. The same eighteen year old can vote for our future leaders but cannot rent a car or register to sail on a cruise ship until twenty-five. The latter by the way Is not actually a law but a common requirement – still an example of our culture and the Inconsistencies.
A minor can go Into a health clinic and request birth control and opt for an abortion by their own Judgment but, cannot get an aspirin from the school nurse without parental consent. We seem to be very careful about not Infringing on the rights of the minor In this rave situation of an abortion but have no problem Implementing curfew laws which are supposed to consider the health and safety of a minor. It seems that there may be a common underlying concept In our society that allowably Is Justification for this inconsistency.
The schools are liable if a child has an allergic reaction to aspirin so odometer It Is Imperative Tanat a parent consent to ten on so Tie teenager act AT dispensing aspirin. Society is at risk if unruly teenagers roam the streets after eleven at night so we set limits for them. But, it helps our society maintain the military leadership throughout the world so we then determine that eighteen is the magical age where a minor is fully mature and retains the ability to make such life altering decisions.
The various laws and age limits indicate that for the sake of society and liability, minors should have restrictions but for the sake of retaining individual rights, they should have allowances. There are other factors that are a part of the determination which may vary throughout the world. Our culture has a large impact n this determination of minor’s transition into adulthood and our assessment of their increasing cognitive ability. At what age do we develop the ability to fully reason, assess the risk, and make decisions to avoid mishap?
At the ripe old age of thirty-eight, I have fully mastered this (yeah right), but I have to wonder what the average is for a minor. Smith (1996) stated, “The frontal lobe of the brain, which deals with the control of sexual drives as well as abstract reasoning and planning, is not completely militated until 14 or 15 years of age (Anastasia, 1982). Major hangers in cognitive ability occur between early and late adolescence, most notably the capacity to reason abstractly, predict future consequences, and see things from different perspectives.
As these changes occur, the conception of the self as invulnerable diminishes and the impact of knowledge of risk increases. ” It is readily accepted, however inconsistent the laws are, that minors do not possess the same reasoning skills and decision making skills to have their world of choices be at the same level as an adult. Parents have the right to require medical treatment off minor, they also have the right to disallow medical treatment such as cosmetic surgery.
If a court of law supports the parent/guardian rights to decide what medical treatment their child can/cannot have, why then would this same court of law approve the choice of a minor without the notification of their parent/guardian to get an abortion? Using the Justification that there are guardians/parents who are not able to properly parent or make decisions in the best interest of the minor is not sufficient. Using the reasoning that minors may not feel comfortable discussing this influential issue with their guardian/parent is not valid.
There are many subjects and situations during the course of growing up where a minor may feel uncomfortable or scared of the reaction of their guardian/parent but this does not provide Justification for “confidentiality’. Infringing on the confidentiality rights off minor by the guardian/parent with regards to their health, welfare, and safety would not be considered an infringement but an entitlement. A parent/guardian is entitled to know the health services being received by the minor as they are deemed by law o be responsible for the health and welfare of the minor.
If a minor is required to live in the home and the guardian/parent has not been found to be incompetent, then the parent/guardian should exercise their Judgment with regards to any aspect of the minor which would involve putting the minor in danger or that which may cause serious psychological impact. If a law required parent/guardian notification and the response of the parent/guardian is not sufficient and within the best interest of the minor as determined by a professional source, then the law may intervene in he best interest of the child.
By taking away this process and keeping this act (rotation) ‘continental” Ana “private”, It also works to nave any Tambala souse, neglect, and other situations which the minor may be subject to. By allowing a minor to simply go to a doctor and get an abortion with no research into the family response keeps any potential abuse in the dark. Requiring the notification and response of the parental/guardian will allow those professionals involved (initially the doctor) to refer the situations of concern to agencies which may provide support and outreach revise to both the minor and the parent/guardian.
Government agencies such as the Department of Social and Employment Services (DEEDS) can assume the responsibility of the minors’ health, wealth, and safety and the consider the necessary provision of services. They may also require that mental health services, family therapy, and other such services be received by the family and the minor. They can help to determine whether the parenting skills of the parent/guardian are not sufficient and have put the child at risk. Allowing minors to keep abortions influential takes any and all options of support from them.
Minors are not apt to take the initiative to communicate to those adults who may be helpful in making life choices and even more apt to feel isolated and overburden if abuse is present in their lives. By requiring notification and bringing light to this matter, agencies that exist to consider the best interest of the minor when parents/guardians fail can intervene. Promoting secrecy and requiring no acceptance of responsibility for a minors’ welfare will not help to provide more resources to teens.