British Mom Wants UK to Allow Parental Notification Before Teen’s Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 5, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Mom Wants UK to Allow Parental Notification Before Teen’s Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 5, 2006

London, England ( — A British mother wants England to change its abortion law to allow parents to know about a teen’s request for an abortion before it happens. Elaine Taylor says her 15 year-old daughter nearly had an abortion and she is upset her teenager could have an abortion without her knowing.

Leah Taylor, the woman’s daughter, was given forms to complete to have an abortion at a GPs office in Hemsworth and told she did not need to inform her parents she was having the abortion.

Elaine Taylor, who had an abortion herself at 15, told the Evening Post newspaper her parents knew about her abortion and she wants to be able to talk to her daughter in advance of an abortion Leah may have.

"She isn’t allowed to sign a prescription without my knowledge, so how can the medical profession be allowed to help a 15-year-old girl get an abortion without the parents’ permission," Taylor asked.

"Whether to keep the child or have an abortion is a tough decision and they need support," she told the newspaper.

As a result of Leah almost having a secret abortion, Taylor has launched a new group called Parents in Need and is planning a petition campaign to get other parents to sign asking Britain to change its laws on parental involvement.

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett is taking up her cause and saying he will press for such a change.

"I will write to the Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer who is the most senior law officer in the country, to ask that the law is carefully reviewed to make sure that cases like this don’t happen in the future," he told the Evening Post.

Leah discovered she was pregnant March 15 and went to the Hemsworth Grange Medical Centre on March 24. She later discussed the decision to have an abortion with her 20 year-old boyfriend and the couple decided to keep the baby. Eventually Leah had a miscarriage.

The British Department of Health has issued guidelines saying a teenager’s privacy trumps informing parents about a potential abortion.

In January, a mother of two teenager daughters has lost her court battle for the right to know when her children are considering an abortion. Sue Axon says her 16 year-old daughter is pregnant and she had an abortion herself 20 years ago and regrets the decision.

But Mr. Justice Silber ruled that Axon, and British parents in general, have no right to know when their teenage daughters are considering an abortion, despite the potential for severe emotional or physical complications.

To allow parents to help their daughter "may lead her to make a decision that she later regrets or seek the assistance of an unofficial abortionist," the judge claimed.

"I am obviously disappointed by the judgment of the court," Axon said in response.

Axon did not appeal the decision to a higher court.