New Bill Could Eliminate Parental Consent Laws for Minors Seeking Abortions
Boston, MA - A new bill going through the Massachusetts Legislature may make it easier for minors to get abortions. The bill, also known as the ROE Act, covers many topics, but focuses on eliminating parental consent for abortions.
The current Massachusetts law requires minors to get parental consent in order to get an abortion. The only way to go around the law, as of now, would be to petition a judge, a political process known as judicial bypass. If a teen doesn’t want to ask their parent, they can go through this process.
Jennifer Childs-Roshack, President of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, came forward to state that requiring minors to obtain parental consent is unnecessary. She went on to say that if minors can make decisions such as purchasing condoms and asking their doctors for prescription birth control, they should also be able to make the decision of whether they want to keep a child or not.
Though some teenagers have parents that they can go to and talk to about abortion, others don’t. So, when it comes time to asking permission to get an abortion, some parents seem not to understand, states Childs-Roshack. What’s more is that even though leaders like Childs-Roshack supports this new bill being passed, the reality of the situation is that many people do not approve it. For instance, Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, came forward to state that when it comes to minors, parents should always be involved. Fox’s example led with the ear piercing ordeal; Fox stated that if minors need permission to get their ears pierced, they surely should need permission to get an abortion.
When it comes to abortion, every state has its own laws and opinions. Some states require the teen to notify the parents, whereas others require parental consent from both parents. Most states do have a judicial bypass system, though.
Childs-Roshack came forward to state that Massachusetts has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in New England. These laws almost force teens to jump state borders to get an abortion, over to states like Vermont and New York.
The truth behind it, according to Jasmin Johnson, a Planned Parenthood coordinator for Boston, is that we don’t know what sort of relationship a certain minor has with their parents. This needs to be taken into account when deciding the future abortion laws of Massachusetts.