British Lawmakers Reject Call for Parental Notification on Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Lawmakers Reject Call for Parental Notification on Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 14
, 2007

London, England ( — Members of the British parliament rejected legislation on Wednesday that would have required a teenager’s parents to be notified before she can have an abortion or get information on contraception. Studies have shown such laws have cut the number of abortions on teenagers in half in the United States.

Tory MP Angela Watkinson sponsored the measure, which wasn’t expected to be approved by the House of Commons. Ultimately, MPs voted by 159 to 87 to keep parents in the dark when their teenagers have abortions.

Watkinson said current policy was not working and cited the increasing rate of abortions on teenagers and noted how the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases on British teens is also rampant.
"All the indications are that many children are becoming sexually active well before they are either emotionally or physically mature," she said, according to the BBC. "It’s time to try a different approach."

She said parents could help their children resist peer pressure and make pledges to be abstinent until marriage and they could also help a pregnant teen raise a child instead of having an abortion.

"In education about the real risks involved and the likely outcomes, the advice to underage girls should be to abstain, to wait, to delay, to resist," she said. "Parents need to be part of this process."

The law would have affected the roughly 4,000 girls under the age of 16 who get abortions every year in the European nation.

New statistics from the British Department of Health revealed that more than 100 teenage girls every month have a second abortion and some of those girls are having a multiple abortion. The statistics show some teenagers are using abortion as a method of birth control.

According to the figures, 1,316 girls under the age of 18 had a second abortion during 2005 with 90 girls having a third abortion.

Another 44 women had undergone eight or more abortions including 20 who were under the age of 30.

Despite the grisly figures, the Department of Health claims it’s making progress in reducing teenage pregnancies with a combination of abstinence and sexual education involving the promotion of birth control.

On its web site, the British health department claims "Between 1998 and 2004, the under-18 conception rate has fallen by 11.1 per cent and the under-16 rate by 15.2 per cent. Both rates are now at their lowest levels for 20 years."

In total, there were 186,416 abortions in the UK in 2005 including more than 60,000 on women who had had a previous abortion. Among the 18 to 24-year-old group, 16,474 had a second abortion while 3,060 were on their third.