A purported draft of a Supreme Court majority judgment overturning Roe v. Wade, the seminal case which protected the legal right to an abortion, was published by Politico on May 2, 2022. The Supreme Court confirmed the document’s legitimacy the next day.

Many are asking, in light of the verdict, what it could imply for them and society at large. If you’re a parent, you might worry that your teen won’t be able to get abortion services in a secure and lawful environment if this bill passes.

The Potential Effects on Young People of Reversing Roe V. Wade

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If Roe v. Wade is reversed, states can regulate or criminalize abortion. If Roe v. Wade is reversed, “trigger legislation” will make abortion illegal in 26 states.

Teens in those states will have to schedule visits in other states where abortion is legal, which might mean more travel time and a longer wait for care. Without reliable means of transportation and adequate financial resources, teenagers will be nearly impossible to get the medical attention they need.

What About the Approval or Consent of Parents?

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Some jurisdictions still require minors to seek parental consent before receiving abortion care, which is an obstacle for many young people. This creates a significant hurdle for teenagers who either do not feel comfortable confiding in their parents or who are unable to acquire parental approval.

If Roe v. Wade is reversed, the future of parental consent is uncertain. If abortion is criminalized at the state level, parental permission won’t matter anyway. For minors seeking abortion services in other states, obtaining parental permission could be an additional hurdle.

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Providers in states where parental consent or notice is legally required may insist that minors under the age of 18 get it before treating them.

Assault?

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Once the federal right to abortion is abolished, states can ban abortion for any reason, including incest, sexual assault, and rape. It’s unclear how various states will approach these issues. But Many states have passed laws restricting abortion access, and many of these laws do not make any exceptions for incest, assault, or rape. States such as Arizona, Florida, and Texas are good examples.

Consequences for Health, Mental Health, and Society.

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Eliminating or severely restricting adolescent access to abortion would have far-reaching consequences. Teenagers are in danger because they lack safe sex information and may not understand pregnancy.

There are long-term consequences for a youngster who carries an unplanned pregnancy to term. Studies have indicated that teen mothers are more likely to face economic hardships, health issues, and mental health issues.

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Unsafe abortion procedures are another worry for teenagers who cannot obtain legal abortion services. Teenagers represent a demographic that, for a variety of reasons, maybe economically or socially marginalized and forced to make choices that endanger their own physical well-being.

Finally, a teen pregnancy’s effects on a person’s mental health can be profound and long-lasting. Removing the option to abort a pregnancy can make a woman feel imprisoned and helpless, which can worsen her mental and physical health (both mental and physical).

Tips for Discussing the Situation with Adolescents

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Aside from worrying about how this verdict will influence your teen’s access to abortion services, you may also be uncertain about how to convey this news to them. It is probable that your teen will hear about it whether or not you want them to. Therefore experts believe that it is best not to avoid the subject.

While some adults may think their children are too young to care about social issues, many teenagers and young adults are actually quite aware of and invested in such matters. Keep an open mind while discussing these topics with your kid, as he or she may have a different perspective than you. Parents may demonstrate to their children how to have peaceful disagreements without name-calling or other negative habits.

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This decision affects the teen’s future access to reproductive health care, so be honest. Also, this is a great time to broach broader issues like sexuality and bodily autonomy.

It’s troubling to constantly hear that abortion is getting more difficult to obtain. The implications of your teen’s access to reproductive health services for their future freedoms are certainly a source of anxiety for you, as their parent. In the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion becomes illegal in your state, you should discuss your teen’s options with a pediatrician. Your pediatrician can help you talk to your tween or teen about sexual health and pregnancy prevention.

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