Parental Consent for Minors Seeking Abortion Ethics Statement
Authority in the family, as established by God, rests with the parents (1) for the protection and benefit of the children. Current law acknowledges and generally supports parental authority in medical decision-making, but makes a notable exception in the case of pregnant minors. State laws that allow pregnant minors to seek abortion (2) without parental consent undermine God’s design for the family and are ultimately detrimental to society.
Especially in a time of crisis an adolescent needs to receive the love, wisdom, guidance, and support of parents and family.
Under the duress of societal disapproval, peer pressure, guilt and fear, a pregnant youth and her partner may be tempted to secretly avoid the help of family at the very time when they are most vulnerable and family involvement is most needed.
An adolescent may not fully appreciate the inherent moral, spiritual, physical, and emotional dangers of abortion or its associated long-term risks. This calls into question her ability to give truly informed consent.
Sexual partners, incestuous family members, sexual predators, or others may successfully coerce a minor to have an abortion in order to avoid their personal responsibility and the consequences of their behavior. The requirement of parental consent helps protect the minor from such coercion.
Minors who are in situations that may adversely affect their future need the support and counsel of their parents. We realize that not all adolescents are in a family that provides support and counsel as indicated in this statement. However, we believe that authority in the family is established by God. We therefore encourage the requirement of parental consent in the case of minors seeking abortion.
1) CMDA believes the term "parent" includes guardians.
2) Refer to CMDA's Abortion statement.
Passed by the House of Delegates,
June 12, 2002 unanimously.