ACLU Argues Minors Are ‘Harmed’ By Law Requiring Parental Consent For Abortions

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a report Thursday arguing that a Michigan law requiring parental consent for abortions harms minors.

The law, which became effective in 1991, requires all Michigan residents under the age of 18 to obtain parental consent before getting an abortion or receive a waiver from a judge. The ACLU of Michigan chapter, alongside Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH), however, argued that the law “undermines the safety, health, and dignity” of minors and that the process to waive parental consent is “traumatizing.” (RELATED: Abortions Hit Highest Level In Decade Due To Growing Access To Pill)

“Michigan’s parental consent law violates a range of human rights, including young people’s rights to health, to privacy and confidentiality of health services and information, to nondiscrimination and equality, to decide the number and spacing of children, and to be free from cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment,” the report reads.

The report contained interviews from nine “healthcare providers who provide reproductive health care to young people under the age of 18 in Michigan,” five attorneys who have represented minor clients on this issue, seven people aged 15 to 22 “who are involved in reproductive justice advocacy in Michigan” and one woman who had an abortion at 17.

DETROIT, MI - JUNE 24: An abortion rights demonstrator bows their head as people protest the Supreme Court's decision in the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health case on June 24, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Emily Elconin/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – JUNE 24: An abortion rights demonstrator bows their head as people protest the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health case on June 24, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Emily Elconin/Getty Images)

The report did not note an age at which children are considered too young to consent to abortions but instead argued that parental consent requirements only delay abortion care. They also stated that requiring judges to decide whether or not to waive the requirement is “harmful to young people of color.

The authors demanded that the legislature repeal the law as “a matter of urgency, ” so that parents are no longer required to be involved in their minor child’s decisions, according to the report.

“Michigan has a responsibility to remove harmful barriers and restrictions that limit the ability of pregnant young people to exercise their right to access abortion,” the report reads.

Genevieve Marnon, director of Right to Life of Michigan Legislative, said, however, that the report only shows that activists will claim to “know what is best for children, not parents,” according to the Detriot Free Press.

“The organizations who published this advocacy piece and their political allies believe they know what is best for children, not parents. They are actively seeking to remove parents from one of the most important decisions a minor girl could face, one that everyone acknowledges will have a lifelong impact regardless of the decision,” Marnon said.

ACLU, HRW and MOASH did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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