Leading pro-life activists and medical professionals have spoken out against the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) reaffirmation of its position on adolescent abortion rights.
The AAP, a coalition of 66,000 pediatricians, recently reiterated its long-standing position that while parents should be involved with their teens’ decisions, the right of adolescent girls (ages 15-19) to obtain abortion should trump parental rights to notification and consent.
“A minor should not be compelled or required to involve her parents in her decision to obtain an abortion, although she should be encouraged to discuss the pregnancy with her parents and/or other responsible adults,” the AAP stated.
The AAP’s position has been in place for decades. A spokeswoman with the AAP told me the organization reissued it this year as part of routine protocol to review policy statements and make affirmations or changes every five years.
A coalition of pro-life groups signed a letter saying the AAP’s stance “places the unsteady will of a still-developing, individual teenager above the embrace of a caring, life-affirming community; in rejecting parental consent and notification laws, the AAP places ideology above common sense and gives physicians an ‘out’ in facilitating communication between parent and the vulnerable child.” The letter’s signers included: Ohio Right to Life, 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.
They wrote that the AAP was advancing “a political agenda rather than medical science.”
Currently, 37 states have laws requiring parental involvement for abortions sought by their daughter, but all of them allow for a judicial bypass.
Ohio Right to Life’s communications director, Katherine Franklin, said while her organization doesn’t expect a federal overturning of those laws any time soon, the prominent group’s statement is “concerning.”
“We’re hopeful that the Academy will seriously reconsider its position,” Franklin told me, “but if it doesn’t, the good thing is that there are plenty of life-affirming medical communities that are taking a stand against this kind of political statement.”
Courtesy: WORLD News Service
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: February 10, 2017