Monday, January 23, 2006

In the High Court today Sue Axon lost her legal battle to ensure that girls under 16 would not be able to have an abortion without their parents first being informed. She pursued the case from a very personal position, as she has daughters of her own, and regrets undergoing an abortion in her youth. Other arguments for this include the point that parental consent is required for other surgical procedures. However abortion is not just another medical procedure. Requirement of consent would involve the consideration of so many other issues, including potential increases in illegal abortions, and unwanted pregnancies as a result. The right to reproductive choice is fundamental, and young girls in should be allowed to make this choice themselves without undue parental pressure. Obviously they should be able to involve parents if they so wish, but this was not the point at issue. Rather this case sought to place parental rights over and above any consideration of the individual contemplating an abortion, and it is fortunate that Axon will not be appealing.

The subject of abortion and the issues surrounding it are incredibly contentious, but I feel confident that we live in a society where women's rights in relation to abortion are protected both by statute and the courts. In recent months it appears there has not been such security in the US. Yesterday was the anniversary of the fundamental Supreme Court case that found most laws criminalising abortion to conflict with constitutional rights (Roe v Wade). This landmark decision is fragile and as the make up of the Supreme Court becomes increasingly right wing, the future of legal abortions in the US appears to be at risk. In particular the nomination of Samuel Alito has caused concern as throughout his career he has oppossed abortion, and is likely to continue to challenge the decision in Roe v Wade. Check out for more info on Alito, although there is such an abundance of information about this issue online that it is almost pointless giving one link.


Post a Comment

<< Home