Functional Parenting and Dysfunctional Abortion Policy: Reforming Parental Involvement Legislation
50 Family Court Review 241 (2012)
19 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2011 Last revised: 8 May 2012
Date Written: October 31, 2011
Abortion-related parental involvement mandates raise important family law issues about the scope of parents’ power over their children’s intimate decisions. While there has been extensive scholarly attention paid to the problems with parental involvement laws, relatively little has been said about strategies for reforming these laws. This article suggests using insights from family law relating to functional parenthood and third party caregiving as a basis for crafting more capacious methods of ensuring adult guidance for teenage girls facing an unplanned pregnancy. Recent developments in family law bolster the case for reforming parental involvement legislation to allow teenagers to consult with designated adults other than parents or judges. Enlisting other trusted members of the community to assist pregnant teenagers should assuage those who want to guarantee that adolescents consult with an adult in a time of crisis, while also protecting teenagers who reasonably fear discussing pregnancy with their parents.
Keywords: abortion, teen pregnancy, parental involvement laws, parental consent laws, family law
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