The Pregnant Child's Right to Self Determination
48 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2010
Since Roe v. Wade, there have been many state efforts to limit access to abortions. Some of these efforts include limiting access to abortions for minors through parental consent laws. Federal proposals such as the Child Custody Protection Act and Putting Parents First Act required parental involvement in reproductive decisions. Various state laws also exist.
This article examines the constitutional parameters of reproductive autonomy, particularly as they pertain to a pregnant minor’s access to abortion. Both the United State Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in this area and the effect of laws designed to curtail the access of unmarried pregnant minors to safe and legal abortions are surveyed. Also discussed are the current efforts at the federal level to impose national parental involvement requirements when minors seek access to contraceptives or abortion. Finally, a new standard for addressing a minor’s constitutional claims to reproductive freedom is proposed.
Keywords: constitutional parameters of reproductive autonomy
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