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Catholics for Choice Announces Opposition to Parental Involvement Abortion Laws 

May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON – Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, released a position statement today on parental involvement laws — measures in place in 37 U.S. states that require the notification, and often the consent, of one or both parents in a minor’s choice to have an abortion.

The statement reads, in part: 

“It is critical that young people are able to access the care they need from a trusted, high-quality provider, regardless of whether or not the young person chooses to involve their parents. This aligns with our Catholic calling to care for the vulnerable and marginalized. In reality, most young people do choose to inform their parents in such important life decisions, but for those who do not or cannot, it is especially critical that the system remove obstacles to their seeking care…

“Parental involvement laws and judicial bypass workarounds are antichoice mechanisms aimed to limit abortion access, beginning with those for whom access is already tenuous. The hardships they create fall disproportionately on Black and brown families whose familial structures may not resemble the dominant system. These policies are yet another ramification of systemic racism, and they fail to recognize or value the diversity of our nation’s families. And at their core, these laws undermine the notion of individual agency and autonomy. As Catholics working toward an equitable world where each person is free to exercise their agency, we reject harmful polices like parental involvement laws that fail to connect to people’s lived realities, which undermine key Catholic values, and which ultimately are harmful to the communities that we live in and care for.”

The full statement can be viewed here on the Catholics for Choice website.

Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson said: 

“Parental involvement mandates place an undue burden on – and often substantially harm – young people, who deserve the same access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion care, as everyone else. Catholics for Choice takes this position today, guided by our Catholic values, because laws that force minors to involve a parent in their personal healthcare choices are an unjustifiable infringement on their freedom and, in some cases, a risk to their physical safety and psychological well-being. Young people are paying the price for what, ultimately, is just another dangerous attack on reproductive rights and freedoms, which should be, and must be, universal.”

Read full statement here.

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to a person’s well-being and respect, and affirm the capacity of all people to make moral decisions about their lives.