Large majorities of the public favor parental notice before an abortion can be performed on a minor girl, and the laxity of current laws on the issue continues to draw the attention of policymakers- and the support of abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, which routinely challenges parental rights in this area. But Planned Parenthood is fully capable of setting a standard of parental rights when they align with their interest, as news out of California demonstrates. Planned Parenthood there is requiring parental consent for Sacramento teens to lobby against legislation that would warn women considering abortion of the psychological effects they may face.
As Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of California presented AB 1306 before a health committee on May 5, Planned Parenthood took teens out of school for Teen Capitol Day in Sacramento. Their mission: to meet with lawmakers and oppose the bill that requires women to be provided with a pre-abortion counseling session informing them of possible psychological and physiological side-effects. Before the teens could be ferried to the state capital to fight against a bill that has the physical and mental well-being of women in mind, they, naturally enough, had to obtain the permission of their parents.
It is ironic how Planned Parenthood sends out a permission slip for kids to go on a lobbying trip, but provides abortions to minors, without informing their parents, in more than a dozen states. In addition to those 14 jurisdictions, which include California and the District of Columbia, the other states allow for young girls to get around telling their parents about their abortion through judicial bypass procedures, often thanks to aggressive lawsuits from Planned Parenthood.
The millions of dollars Planned Parenthood has spent to eliminate parental consent laws for minors seeking abortions show a fundamental disrespect for the family and the authority of parents to direct the upbringing and safeguard the well-being of their children. The bypassing of parental permission furthers their goal of government policies that supplant parents and substitute the judgment of an abortion provider for the values of the family.
The absurdity that Planned Parenthood requires a note from Mom and Dad to go on a field trip, but not to receive an abortion, underscores the profound inconsistency of public policies that undermine the family. How many parents would agree that their daughter’s secret abortion is a matter of less concern to them than an afternoon in Sacramento?
Jane Abel currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation.Click here for more information on interning at Heritage.