Prop 73 Pro: Minors not mature enough

Alys Martinez and Alys Martinez

The reality in America today is an immense increase in sexual activity among young girls, especially those under 18. While their bodies are physically ready, their spirits and minds are not. The abortion issue will always be divided and the two sides entirely opposed.

The complexity that exists within the abortion issue is whether a minor should be allowed to have an abortion without parental consent.

Voting yes on Proposition 73 is not a question of ethics; it is about protecting vulnerable children from exploitation, from serious consequences of sexual activity and from abortion clinics that have no personal relationships or medical histories of the young girls that flock to them for a quick solution.

Right now in California, a 13-year-old can obtain the same abortion services as adults. There is something inherently wrong in a society that abandons a pregnant child and forces them to make serious health decisions alone.

In the inevitable taking of sides, voters should support Proposition 73, requiring parental notification of a minor’s abortion within 48 hours of the procedure. One million people have already signed a petition in favor of this amendment and currently 30 states in America already have said law in effect. Studies show that these laws reduce pregnancy and abortion rates in minors.

Performing a surgical or chemical abortion on a minor without a parent’s knowledge is problematic on many levels. Not all children have positive or meaningful relationships with their parents. Even if there were a strong family bond, most girls do not turn to parents out of embarrassment or shame in times of need.

Opponents like to suggest that denying girls abortions or requiring parental consent will lead to desperate illegal or back alley abortions. These are rare circumstances. Prop73 has built in exceptions that offer minors alternatives. If the girl absolutely does not want a parent notified, Proposition 73 can appoint a temporary guardian to assist her in a private and confidential court proceeding. Based on her circumstance and maturity level the minor may still receive an abortion but with the guidelines that she receive proper medical care and counseling.

If there is evidence of sexual abuse, this will be reported with the proper authorities. A parent or guardian can also be available to assist her with the possible side effects of the abortion: hemorrhage, infection and psychological distress.

Opponents seem to feel comfortable with girls being shuttled through abortion clinics. These minors are not emotionally or intellectually mature enough to differentiate between a good doctors office and a substandard one. Most likely the doctors at these clinics will know nothing about them or their medical history. Negligent and rushed abortions can result in serious injuries or death. The whole focus needs to shift to education, prevention and constant communication. If an abortion is not such an easy solution for girls, they will be more likely to avoid reckless behavior and turn to parents, teacher, mentors or a court appointed guardian. If we don’t pass this law we are failing our daughters.