Teenagers and Abortion

State laws requiring parental involvement stir opposition


Laws requiring teenagers to involve their parents in abortion decisions have become the object of widening controversy. The debate over parental involvement laws is taking place against the backdrop of the volatile abortion issue. Polls indicating strong public support for such laws have supplied new ammunition to anti-abortion activists. Many politicians who generally support abortion rights also support parental consent and notification laws. But an organized campaign of abortion-rights activists and professional groups is seeking to head off or repeal the laws, calling them a violation of minors' rights and a threat to adolescent health. Many families have a stake in the outcome of this debate: Every year, more than a million American girls under age 20 become pregnant.

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