American Academy of Pediatrics: Adolescents Have a ‘Right’ to Abortion

A member of anti-abortion organization 'Derecho a vivir' (The right to live) holds a mock coffin during a protest in Madrid on October 31, 2013, to ask the Spanish government to pass a reform of the abortion law. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government had vowed to present by the end …

Continuing the progressive narrative that abortion is “healthcare,” the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is reaffirming its position that adolescents have a “right” to abortion even without the knowledge and consent of their parents.

In a policy statement titled, “The Adolescent’s Right to Confidential Care When Considering Abortion,” AAP addresses states that require parental consent prior to abortion. While the organization says adolescents “should be encouraged to involve their parents and other trusted adults in decisions regarding pregnancy,” it reaffirms that parental notification laws increase “the risk of harm to the adolescent by delaying access to appropriate medical care.”

AAP also states:

The AAP strongly advocates for the prevention of unintended adolescent pregnancy by supporting comprehensive health and sexuality education, abstinence, and the use of effective contraception by sexually active youths. For 2 decades, the AAP has been on record as supporting the access of minors to all options regarding undesired pregnancy, including the right to obtain an abortion.

AAP joins with Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and others in the abortion industry in its claim adolescents have a “right” to abortion without parental consent. The abortion lobby typically opposes state laws that require parental notification for abortion. Planned Parenthood recommends to adolescents visiting its website to contact them for further information on how to obtain a “judicial bypass” of parental notification laws:

If you’re under 18, you may or may not have to tell a parent in order to get an abortion — it all depends on the laws where you live.

Some states don’t have any laws about telling your parents or getting their permission. But some states say you have to get permission from a parent or older family member to have an abortion. Other states don’t make you get permission, but your parents will have to know that you’re getting an abortion.

A judge may be able to excuse you from having to tell your parents or get their permission — this is called “judicial bypass”.

In an open letter to AAP president Dr. Fernando Stein, Ohio Right to Life challenges the policy statement and requests the group rescind it:

The American Academy of Pediatrics says it is “dedicated to the health of all children,” yet in rendering a decision such as this, the Academy profoundly harms the health of children twice: First, by ignoring the grave psychological, health, and safety risks posed to the adolescent seeking the abortion; and second, by enshrining as a “right” the decision for one child to procure the death of their own child.

Ohio Right to Life observes the dangers of AAP’s policy, particularly with respect to adolescents who may be involved in an abusive relationship with an adult or other sex trafficking situation:

While the AAP statement concludes that “Concern for incest or abuse should be raised when a minor, particularly a younger adolescent, resists parental involvement when seeking abortion services,” it undercuts the very safety net which children need by ultimately promoting an unfettered right to abortion, and provides no guidance as to what to do—or whom to involve—in those circumstances; in short, it jeopardizes the lives and safety of children who are victims of sex trafficking or abusive relationships, forced to have abortions to cover up evidence of sexual abuse.

“Sadly, the American Academy of Pediatrics is just one of multiple mainstream medical associations that have been overrun by abortion advocates,” says Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, adding:

The truth is that the modern-day American medical profession was founded with the intent of stamping out harmful practices like abortion—practices that contradict the physician’s duty to “First, do no harm.” If the American Academy of Pediatrics is to honor that legacy and truly dedicate themselves to the health of all children, they will rescind this horrific polemic in favor of sound medical science.

Joining with Ohio Right to Life with its letter are the American College of Pediatricians, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the National Catholic Bioethics Center, the Center for Bioethics at Cedarville University, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Catholic Medical Association.


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