Today some dipsticks called Right to Life called for the government to make parental notification for teenagers having abortions mandatory. They said cute things like “The Denial of Parental Notification is child Abuse” (weird capitalisation theirs). Well. I am of the considered opinion that this is bullshit.
I have reasons to have an opinion on this. I had a child when I was 17, and another when I was 20. Between those I had an abortion. The results of those two pregnancies were two wonderful girls, and the elder is almost a teenager. This is a topic highly relevant to me.
My twelve-year-old is a lovely girl, and she as every right to bodily autonomy. I think she’s too young for sex, and I hope she thinks so too, but if she were to end up pregnant and wanting an abortion, she should have access to it. Maybe questions should be asked, because I don’t want her to be a silent victim of rape or anything, but she should have that access. I hope she would be able to tell me – but if she can’t, her health and her body is much more important than my knowledge of what she’s up to.
She can trust me to be sensible about this – but she cannot trust her religious father, who could try and force her to keep the baby. Notifying him could be a complete disaster for her, and I am utterly against it. She’s also a sensitive soul, and she needs to be able to tell me when she’s ready, not because she’s forced to.
I had an abortion. I do not regret it for one moment. It was absolutely the right thing to do at the time, and having two children under two would have been catastrophic for my mental health.
My girls are their own people, even though they are young. I hope they trust me – but I care more about them making the best choices for themselves than I do about knowing about it. I want them to be able to trust their health care workers and counsellors to help them and give them good advice, not be scared that they will tell me or their fathers and drop them in a pile of shit.