Monday, March 31, 2014

Debates on Planned Parenthood

By: Shanna Cronley

Women have been having abortions for a very long time, even in the Victorian Era there was abortion. There were both medical abortions and self-abortions. Women could buy a probe for about $8 to perform such an abortion. From about 1820-1840 abortions were not condemned as long as they were performed within the first trimester. Any laws during this time were put in place to protect women. This changed from about 1840-1890 where laws put doctors in charge of abortions rather than women which made the procedures much more dangerous.[1] This change is still prevalent today in society, because abortions are in the hands of the doctors. Today these procedures are less dangerous due to more knowledge on the female body but it creates the issue of if abortions should be legalized or not.

          Planned Parenthood has become a well-known issue in today’s society because of new laws and politics. One debate on Planned Parenthood is abortion, more specifically abortion for girls who are under 18. In North Carolina girls can get an abortion if they are under 18 two ways. One is through consent of a parent or guardian and the other is through a judicial bypass or waiver. If a young woman decides to get a judicial bypass her parents will not be notified. Also, in North Carolina if you are under 18 Planned Parenthood offers a 50% discount to those under 18 for services such as birth control, STD screenings and pregnancy tests.[2] This poses a question of whether or not a girl under 18 should be allowed to have these services without a parent or guardian’s consent. An article written in 1992 stated that Planned Parenthoods in states where the law required either parental consent or a judicial bypass would tell girls to go to states where such laws were not being enforced.[3] The question of if abortion should be illegal or not is a large issue in itself but it poses a larger threat to those who are under the legal age. There is not much that anyone under the age of 18 can legally do without the consent of a parent. If anyone under 17 cannot even go to an R rated movie without an adult then why should something as serious as this be any different? Yes, this is their own bodies but they are still children and I personally think that parents should have to be notified for things such as Planned Parenthood.  

[1] Crystal Moore, “Sexuality within the Victorian Family 1800-1900” (lecture, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC. February 25, 2014)
[2] "Teen Discount." - Planned Parenthood. (accessed March 31, 2014).
[3] Lewin, Tamar. "Parental Consent to Abortion: How Enforcement Can Vary." The New York Times. (accessed March 31, 2014).

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