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That minors should not require parental consent to obtain an abortion

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ZeusYodaZeusYoda (PRO)
Thank you admin for allowing the re-run of this debate..since we had already posted round 1 arguments thought we could paste them here so that the debate makes sense..my opening was..
The Proposition today believes that limiting the right to have an abortion of teenage girls in any way has dire consequences for the women, for the potential children and for the society as a whole. Therefore even parents should not be able to limit the right of their daughters to have an abortion. In order to set some ground for this debate, we will be talking about countries where abortion as such is legal. We believe that in such countries women or girls (of any age) should have the right to get a safe abortion, without neither of her parents knowing or consenting. We understand that making this decision is extremely difficult and we want to make sure that the girl involved has all the information about the procedure and proper counseling from professionals. The counselor should even encourage the girl to tell her parents herself. However, if for some reasons she still decides to go ahead with the abortion, she should get it. If we give parents the possibility to prevent their daughters from having abortions we have to assume that some will decide to use it and hence increase the number of teenage mothers who will give birth to a baby and often raise it as well. In this debate we we will show the consequences of having more teenage mothers in the society and prove that the best way to solve the situation is to give them the possibility to obtain an abortion without parental consent.
I ask that you vote in the affirmative!  :)

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-02-01 20:32:35
| Speak Round
adminadmin (CON)
I'd like to thank my opponent for his opening round, and welcome him warmly to edeb8!

My opponent broke the debate down into 3 key issues without elaborating on these too much. As such, I'll just go right ahead and talk about the effects of my opponent's model as I see them on side negative.

Effect on Pregnant Minors
There's an important piece of context here that the affirmative glanced over: minors. These are people who in most cases can't drive, can't vote - and can't give medical consent for any other procedure. Parents (assuming they are the legal guardians here) could have them sent to mental hospitals, decide what food they eat, and even sign contracts on their behalf. A minor is a young person whom society affords few rights, for the very good reason that they lack the mental capacity of adults. This is partly because their brain hasn't fully developed yet, but mostly because they still have a lot of education still left to go through before they are ready to tackle the big wide world. Asking a child whether they want an abortion is like asking a random stranger off the street if they could perform complex surgery - in all likelihood, it won't be something they're ready for.

This is particularly true for pregnant minors. With all the other stresses going on in their life at the time, pregnancy is a tough thing to handle even for adults. This is why such a thing as maternity leave exists. Minors, being so dependent on their parents, need their parents in a time of pregnancy more than anytime else. In fact, they can use all the support they can get. That support may come in a number of forms - weighing the arguments for and against abortion, giving them support financially and emotionally to go through with whatever decision is reached, and so on. Parents only want what's best for their children and are able to be a reasonable voice in these circumstances where children can often be confused and feel helpless.
By keeping the pregnancy and the subsequent abortion entirely to themselves, they won't be doing themselves any favors. The culture of secrecy that this motion proposes is damaging to the family dynamic generally. Going to a major abortion clinic may be difficult for a minor to hide from their parents, encouraging them into more dodgy establishments. And what's more, society has already accepted that this is a decision these people are ill-equipped to make. Children who have babies are still children.

I need to stress at this point that this is different from the parents making the decision for the minor. In normal abortion procedure both the minor and the parents need to consent.

Effect on Potential Children
When somebody has a baby, their parents (the new grandparents) automatically have certain expected duties. This is particularly true of minors. If your child has a baby, your ordinary duty towards that child (as a parent) does not cease. You are still responsible for their upbringing. By implication, since their life depends on their ability to support their baby, you have a certain additional amount of responsibility towards the baby as well. The net effect on potential children is that rather than mom being encouraged to keep her pregnancy a secret for as long as possible until she made her abortion decision, and the new grandparents subsequently left feeling bitter and betrayed that their child wouldn't tell them about something as important as that they were pregnant - instead, these kids will be raised in loving homes with whatever support the wider extended family, especially the grandparents, can offer.

In real terms, that means getting the best start in life. Children are kind of hard to raise, particularly at first, and a lot of young teenagers don't appreciate that. The sacrifices are easier to make when you have all the support you need - in other words, mom will actually be changing your nappies rather than living in a culture of secrecy and sneaking out to go to parties (and probably give you a little sibling or something).

Effect on Society
The social impact of this is measurable on two levels. Not just are the families strengthened (and we do recognize that families are the basic building blocks of society), but kids with teen moms do grow up. If their upbringing was a happy one, they're likely to be better people too. If not, they can be prone to psychological problems related to neglect, or more rarely, actual physical reminders of a childhood spent in isolation.

A family where the mother is young and estranged from her family also means that the family is more reliant on the father and his family. The unfortunate reality is that the reason too many young girls get pregnant is because of abusive boyfriends (if not rapists) and this can leave them feeling isolated from everybody.

Why parents
Parents fulfill basically the same role as the counselors in my opponent's model, with an important exception: they're free. Either way, there's still medical information that is given (by doctors at the abortion clinic performing the operation), but unless a lot of time is spent with the patient and their family, a counselor will be unable to get an accurate assessment of a child's life situation. The worst thing that could happen is that youth resent the counselling process as a kind of humiliation they have to go through (even if done in secret). Kids don't want to be lectured and asked a lot of personal questions - they want fast and relevant information they can process quickly. The harm here is that youth don't get abortions for the very impulsive reason that they're afraid of the counseling they know they'd have to go through. If anything, kids should go through counseling if they decide to not have an abortion as opposed to the other way round, if more teen moms is not what my opponent wishes to encourage. Parents, on the other hand, know best what both they and their child are capable and happy to support.

More teen moms?
Final small rebuttal point here. Pro assumed that just because some parents will veto their child's decision to have an abortion, the number of abortions will decline. This is not true. Other parents may well talk their child into having an abortion. Because parents have been around longer they often have a longer-term view, so they may realize that now is not the right time for their child to have an abortion. By contrast, it's easier when you're personally going through your first pregnancy to get caught up in the idea of having a child. We further believe that this is a minority case. Much like the vast majority of parents don't really care if their kids are gay, most parents would support the child's decision either way, but just want to ensure that it's one that hasn't been made flippantly, more because they love the child than anything else.

Of course there are always outliers. Just as some parents are strongly opposed to abortion, some parents are strongly opposed to teen mothership, and will do anything to prevent their daughter going down that path. As the potential mother is still young she's more impressionable, and going ahead without her parent's blessing would objectively be an unwise decision even if she is thinking clearly. In the very rare event that both the parents and the child cannot come to any agreement, it's in both of their interests to sort it out. Law is all about creating incentives which build a better society, and this is just one example of that in action.

The resolution is negated.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-02-03 11:50:03
| Speak Round

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test @admin - just checking stuff...
Posted 2015-02-08 12:40:34
:( This had been fun
Posted 2015-02-06 21:43:40
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A continuation of this debate: http://www.edeb8.com/debate/That+minors+should+not+require+parental+consent+to+obtain+an+abortion%5Cn/

We'll just pick up where we left off.