Families, communities, and nations are stronger when parents are involved in the major decisions made by their children. Most parents - and all good parents - love their children and want the best for them. Parents are the most important people in the lives of their children until the child becomes an adult, marries and has children of his/her own; therefore, parents must be involved in the lives of their children.
A recent study written by Joseph J. Sabia and Daniel I. Rees indicates that having parents involved in abortion decisions can actually save the lives of some young women. "Using state-level data on suicides from the period 1987 to 2003, we find that the adoption of a law requiring a parent's notification or consent before a minor can obtain an abortion is associated with an 11%-21% reduction in the number of 15- through 17-year-old females who commit suicide. In contrast, the adoption of a parental involvement law is not associated with a reduction in the number of older females who commit suicide or in the number of 15- through 17-year-old males who commit suicide. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that parental involvement laws represent an increase in the expected cost of having unprotected sex, and, as a consequence, serve to protect young females from depression and what have been termed `stressful life event' such as conflict with a parent or an abortion. (JEL I18, I10, J13)"
As a parent and grandparent I know that children and youth need guidance to make correct decisions about minor things such as appropriate dress for a certain occasion or the safety of an activity. It makes sense to me that young women need the guidance of their parents when making a major health decision such as whether or not to have an abortion. An unplanned pregnancy in the life of a 15-17 year old girl can be a huge inconvenience and embarrassment in her life as well as the lives of her parents and other family members; however, a suicide - for any reason - will have disastrous effects on all concerned. With the help of her parents, a young woman can learn to understand that there are many options for handling an unplanned pregnancy, and a loving relationship can give the young woman emotional strength to handle whatever the final decision.
I believe strongly that parents must be involved in the lives of their children because children, youth, and young adults do not have the life experience necessary to make good decisions about major events. Families grow stronger when family members can communicate about difficult subjects and reach decisions together, and strong families are the core unit of communities and nations.