London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Sunday, Feb 25, 2024

Florida calls teen ‘too immature’ for an abortion. But forced motherhood is fine?

Florida calls teen ‘too immature’ for an abortion. But forced motherhood is fine?

The Florida court’s decision is shameful, nothing less than an ideological assault on a teenager

A Florida court has held that a pregnant and parentless 16-year-old is not mature enough to have an abortion – but is, apparently, mature enough to raise a child after being forced into childbirth by the state.

This case illustrates the utter absurdity and deep cruelty of parental consent laws, which are in place in 21 states. While parental consent laws seem reasonable enough on their face – who wouldn’t want to know if their child was having an abortion? – they are in practice alternately duplicative or dangerous. If a parent is supportive of their child’s bodily autonomy and has raised that child into a thoughtful, mature teenager, that teenager will either feel comfortable telling their parents about an unplanned pregnancy, or will have the ability and wherewithal to make their own decision and get themselves to an abortion provider. If a parent is abusive or unsupportive of their child’s basic rights, why should the state put young people at risk by requiring that their parents be notified?

The reality of abortion is that it essentially maintains the status quo. A teenager who ends her pregnancy does not risk her life in childbirth. She is able to continue her schooling or her work without interruption. She is able to remain on whatever path she was walking before her pregnancy, and she can pursue her goals and dreams on the schedule she had in mind.

Making the decision to keep one’s life moving forward on the same path requires far less maturity than making the decision to become a parent – a decision the state does not interfere with, and for good reason. If the idea of a parent or a panel of judges forcing a teenage girl into an abortion against her will disgusts and outrages you, so should the idea of a parent or panel of judges forcing a girl to go through the much more dangerous, physically demanding and permanently life-altering process of giving birth and becoming a mother.

While an abortion is a medical procedure, ending a pregnancy is overwhelmingly safe, and a woman is about 14 times more likely to die of complications from childbirth than from complications from abortion. And yet the state – rightly – does not require pregnant teenagers to get their parents’ permission to carry to term, nor allow parents to force their children into abortions against their will.

In the situation playing out in Florida, the teenager girl in question does not have parents in the picture. Her guardian is supportive of her choice to end her pregnancy. She has managed to get herself into court and before a panel of judges – that is how badly she does not want to be forced into continued pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood.

And she is right that having a child before she’s ready could be devastating. She is reportedly working on obtaining her GED, but it’s infinitely more difficult to study when you’ve just given birth, or when you’re the sole caregiver for an infant. She lives with a guardian, but she will be a legal adult in less than two years’ time. The man or boy who impregnated her seems to have no intention of being involved; she has no parents to help her, and it sounds like very little in the way of a familial safety net. She is going to need money for diapers, wipes, baby accoutrements, food, transport, childcare and eventually a place to live for herself and a child. How is a single teenage mother without a high school education and no parental support, and who has been forced to endure the trauma of unwanted pregnancy and birth, going to adequately support herself, let alone a child, under these circumstances?

Researchers have found that when women are denied abortions and forced instead to give birth, the results are dire. They are much more likely to remain in poverty than women who were able to end their pregnancies. They are more likely to be tethered to abusive men. They end up in worse health. Their children are worse off by many measures. And they are more likely to die.

And these poor outcomes are only magnified when the people in question are teenagers. While nearly 90% of American girls graduate from high school, only about 50% of teenage mothers do. While about four in ten American women have a bachelor’s degree, only about one in 10 women who gave birth as teenagers has finished at either a two- or four-year college.

Pregnant adolescents are more likely than adult women to experience a host of health- and life-threatening pregnancy complications, including pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. They are more likely to go into labor early, and more likely to have a lower birthweight baby. Their babies are more likely to die. Their children also do worse in school, are less likely to graduate high school, are less likely to be employed in adulthood, are on average in poorer health, and are more likely to be placed in foster care.

None of this needs to be a foregone conclusion, of course. States could invest much more heavily in healthcare and support for all families, and for low-income families and those led by single parents in particular. But conservative anti-abortion states overwhelmingly do not support pregnant women, children and families nearly as robustly as progressive pro-choice ones. Florida is the 46th worst-ranked state in the nation when it comes to the percentage of uninsured women; it’s the 29th worst in maternal mortality, 30th in infant mortality and 33rd in child poverty. It offers no paid leave for new mothers.

Teenage girls and adult women alike, no matter how allegedly “immature”, are overwhelmingly capable of looking at their lives and deciding, “carrying this pregnancy to term would make things worse, and I don’t want to do it”. Being able to make that assessment is itself a sign of maturity – certainly much more so than deciding one is ready to care for a baby when one is not yet able to fully care for themselves.

The Florida court’s decision is shameful, nothing less than an ideological assault on a teenager. She knows exactly what the stakes are here, and yet three adults who are strangers to her have decided to force her – a child they have deemed immature and incapable of making her own decisions – to become a mother, in charge not only of herself but of a vulnerable infant.

Decisions like this one may very well drive young people to bypass the courts entirely and take matters into their own hands – a worse and potentially far more dangerous outcome. At the very least, this decision will curtail a teenager’s future, compromise her health, force her to suffer through one of the most painful processes human beings endure, threaten her life and the life of her child, and then charge her with the lifelong care of a new person.

That’s a lot to put on a girl who allegedly isn’t mature enough to have a medical procedure utilized by one in four women worldwide. Not mature enough for an abortion, but mature enough for a child? It simply defies reason. And that is, perhaps, because it’s not about reason or maturity at all. It’s about control – and a court imposing its misogynist anti-abortion ideology on a teenager who came to them for help.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
London's Iconic British Telecom Tower Sold To Become Hotel
You Are So Beautiful
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
An old French tune (by Georges Brassens) Pomplamoose ft. John Schroeder
Russia Claims UK Cultural Agency Spied for Ukraine
Sattahip Motor Show 20
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
SONATE AU CLAIR DE LUNE - Moonlight sonata
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
A kiss to build a dream on
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Mean Blues
New video
La Chansonnette
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Pattaya Addicts
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Dream a little dream of me
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
Unchained Melody sung like you've NEVER heard!
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
Édith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Sofie)
UK court to hear Assange's final appeal against extradition to the US, where he faces charges related to his journalistic work—the publication of a classified video in 2010 that exposed US war crimes against humanity.
Rondo Alla Turca
About 50-60% kids either chose to be YouTuber or influencer
Kiss of fire
A viral video of Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce lying on a Canberra footpath is celebrated by his media mates.
Tom Jones - I´ll Never Fall In Love Again 1967, 1989, 2001
European Countries React to Navalny's Death by Summoning Russian Diplomats
Israel Cachao López - Guajira Clásica
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
Edward Maya - Stereo Love (feat. Vika Jigulina) (Extended Mix)
English farmers to be offered ‘largest ever’ grant scheme amid food security concerns
Strauss - Radetzky March - Karajan
Cameron government knew Post Office ditched Horizon IT investigation
La vie en rose
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
The Temptations - My Girl (Smokey Robinson Tribute) 2006 Kennedy Cent
EU Vows To Hold Putin "Accountable" After Meeting Alexei Navalny's Wife
Orlando Cachaito Lopez Redencion
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
Edith Piaf - NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN
The EU Initiates Naval Mission to Defend Red Sea Trade Routes
RADETZKY MARCH-2008-Wien, New Year Concert
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Only you (And you alone)
Brazil's Lula Likens Gaza Operation to Holocaust, Israel Says "Red Line" Crossed
Strangers In The Night
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Charles Aznavour - La Boheme
Microsoft-backed OpenAI valued at $80bn after company completes deal
Summer time
‘Alexei would want to tell Russia not to give up fighting’
Sting and Stevie Wonder - Fragile (from Sting's 60th birthday concert)
Rwandan Footballer's Dismissal Sparks Concerns Over UK Asylum Plan
Aux Champs Elysees
Whisky Challenges China's Baijiu Market During New Year Celebrations
Stand By Me - Ben E. King (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Avalon Jazz Band
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny's "Killers" Refusing To Hand Over Body, Say Allies
She
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Nathalie Song by Enzo Petrachi Stjepan Hauser Cello
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Shape of My Heart - Sting (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
20 Tech Giants Sign Effort To Fight AI Election Interference Across Globe
Radiohead - Creep
Joe Biden Accuses Putin of Causing Navalny's Death
Quizás,Quizás,Quizás - Andrea Bocelli - Jennifer Lopez
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Multi-Couples
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
Pentatonix Havana
Julian Assange's Wife Warns of His Death if Extradited to US
Paula Cole - Autumn Leaves
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Oscar Benton Bensonhurst Blues
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
OH NANANA vs ABUSADAMENTE
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Nina Simone - ”I Put A Spell On You”. Vezi aici cum cântă Jeremy Ragsd
In Britain Homeowners are receiving CPO’s (Compulsory Purchase Orders) so their homes can be redistributed to migrants
NIGHTWISH - The Phantom Of The Opera
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
Motorshow 2016 Tanjay Negros Oriental
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
Monica Bellucci - Ti Amo
Former Dutch PM And Wife Die "Together Hand In Hand" Via Duo Euthanasia
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Milena The Voice France 2018
Media Giant Paramount Global, Which Owns CBS News, To Cut 800 Jobs
Michael Buble (Help Me Make It Through The Night) feat Loren Allred
Memories Canon In D - Maroon 5 (Boyce Avenue piano acoustic cover)
Matteo Simoni - Marina
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Maroon 5 - Memories
Mark Knopfler - Brothers In Arms (Berlin 2007 Live)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Romeo And Juliet (Real Live Roadrunni
Marina, Marina - The LUCKY DUCKIES intimist live concert at Guimarães
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On Mauranne The Voice France 2016
Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet - Joslin - Henri Mancini, Nino Rota
LoLa & Hauser - Love Story
Linkin Park Jay-Z - Numb Encore (Live 8 2005)
Hallelujah Mennel Ibtissem, The Voice France Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love
Leonard Cohen & Natasha Rostova - Dance me to the end of love
La casa de papel - Bella Ciao
La Camisa Negra
L'italiano (Toto Cutugno) - The Gypsy Queens
Juanes - La Camisa Negra
Jonathan and Charlotte - Britain's Got Talent 2012 Live Semi Final - U
John Powell - Assassin's Tango
Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On (LIVE in Dortmund)
Joe Cocker - Unchain My Heart 2002 Live
Joe Cocker - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind LIVE
Jason Mraz - Im Yours (live)
Jarrod Radnich - Bohemian Rhapsody - Virtuosic Piano Solo
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
James Blunt - You're Beautiful & Bonfire Heart (Live at The Nobel Peac)
If You Go Away - Helen Merrill & Stan Getz (Tribute to Virna Lisi)
I'LL BE MISSING YOU
I Say a Little Prayer
Hotel California ( Eagles ) 1994 Live
Historia de un amor - Luz Casal. Vezi interpretarea Biancăi Sumanariu
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover) on Spot
Heart - Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin - Kennedy Center Honors
HAVANA by Camila Cabello Zumba Pre Cooldown TML Crew Kramer Pastra
HAUSER and Señorita - I Will Always Love You
HAUSER - Waka Waka
HAUSER - Sway
HAUSER - Lambada
HAUSER - Historia de un Amor
HAUSER - Despacito
Great Pretender
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice Samba to 'Volare' - Strictly Come
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
GIPSY KINGS VOLARE Penelope Cruz
Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
French Latino - Historia de un Amor
For A Few Dollars More The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live)
Flashdance • What a Feeling • Irene Cara
Filip Rudan - “Someone You Loved” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sez
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Enya - Only Time
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
Elena Yerevan Historia de un amor
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)
Ed Sheeran - Perfect Symphony [with Andrea Bocelli]
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Official Music Video)
Easy On Me - Adele (Boyce Avenue 90’s style piano acoustic cover) on S
ERA - Ameno
ELENA YEREVAN- Cancion Del Mariachi-IN STUDIO-2017 DPR
Dust In The Wind - Kansas (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Despacito x Shape Of You - Pentatonix
Deep Purple - Child In Time - Live (1970)
David Foster When A Man Loves A WomanIt's A Mans World (SealMichael Bo
Dance me to the end of Love ( Pi-Air Design )
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]
Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), played on Böhm Emporio organ
Cielito Lindo
Chico & The Gypsies - Bamboleo
Canción Del Mariachi - Antonio Banderas, Los Lobos • Desperado
Camila Cabello - Havana (Audio) ft. Young Thug
Camila Cabello - Havana ( cover by J.Fla )
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas José Feliciano (Boyce Ave
Buster Benton - Money Is The Name of The Game
Hallelujah Pentatonix
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Music Video)
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Emilia The Voice Kids France
Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora
Ben E. King - Stand by Me Sax Cover Alexandra Ilieva Thomann
Bella Ciao
Bella Ciao - INSTRUMENTAL
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Lady Gaga Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich(1)
BELLA CIAO 2020 - KARAOKE ITALIANO
BAMBOLEO - Gipsy Kings • Antonio Banderas, Katya Virshilas
BAILANDO (original)
Awesome Ukrainian yodeler - SOFIA SHKIDCHENKO (with English subtitles)
Avicii - The Nights
Atom - The Great Gig in the Sky
Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Official Ly
Antonio Banderas - Cancion del Mariachi (Desperado)
André Rieu - Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki)
André Rieu - Can't Help Falling In Love
André Rieu & Mirusia - Ave Maria
Andrew Reyes Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down The Voice 2020 (
Andreas Kümmert Whiter Shade Of Pale The Voice of Germany 2013 Showd
And I Love You So
All About That Bass - Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Alan Walker - Faded (Piano Cover)
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers (cover by Canen 12 y.o.)
African music
Adriana Vidović - “Creep” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
Adriana Vidović - “Believer” Nokaut 3 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
A Fistful of Dollars - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tuva
4 Beautiful Soundtracks Relaxing Piano [10min]
2CELLOS - Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
2CELLOS - Smooth Criminal (Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
2CELLOS - Smells Like Teen Spirit [Live at Sydney Opera House]
2CELLOS - Despacito [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
13 Year Old Girl Playing Il Silenzio (The Silence) - André Rieu
094.All About That Bass
00 - SADNESS PART 1
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky (American Outlaws Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams (Boyce Avenue ft. Conn
What a wonderful world
Moon river
×