NARAL Pro-Choice Montana
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Young Women

Responsible parents should be involved when their young daughters face a crisis pregnancy. Indeed, every parent hopes that a child confronting a crisis pregnancy will seek the advice and counsel of those who care for her most and know her best. And even in the absence of laws mandating parental involvement, most young women do turn to their parents when they are considering an abortion.

Yet, some young women cannot involve their parents because they come from homes where physical violence or emotional abuse are prevalent or because their pregnancies are the result of incest. Put simply, the government cannot mandate healthy family communication where it does not already exist, and there is no law that can account for every situation that a young woman in crisis may face.

Unfortunately, young women in crisis are becoming an increasingly inviting target for restrictive legislation. In the states, laws mandating parental involvement in a minor's decision about abortion are becoming all too common, even when the pregnancy is the result of incest or news of the minor's pregnancy may result in emotional or physical abuse.

In Congress, anti-choice lawmakers are seeking to restrict minors access to reproductive health care services with legislation like the Child Custody Protection Act. This dangerous bill would make it a crime for anyone other than a woman's parents, including a grandparent, aunt, or older sibling, to take her across state lines for an abortion if doing so would violate her home state's parental involvement requirements. Even the confidentiality of minors' medical records and the services minors receive have been the target of anti-choice attempts to restrict reproductive freedom.

Minors do not vote. They have virtually no political power. Consequently, they represent a safe target for anti-choice lawmakers bent on restricting reproductive freedom for all American women. And too often it is the minor who pays the price.
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