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Protect Abortion Rights for Minors


Background

The Parental Notification and Intervention Act of 2013 (H.R. 3601) severely threatens women’s reproductive rights affirmed by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. This bill would require that all minors get written consent from a parent or legal guardian before requesting an abortion, followed by a 96-hour waiting period. Not only does this law have very stringent rules for parental notification, it also has extremely narrow exceptions for medical emergency that threatens the life of the mother, or if there is strong evidence of physical abuse of the young woman by the parent. The bill also fails to provide exceptions for rape or incest, or sexual or emotional abuse by the parent. When parents cannot or will not assist a young woman in a time of need, she should not be left without the support and assistance of other trusted adults.



This legislation is not about protecting young women.  Rather, it will undoubtedly place many young women in harm's way, particularly those who are unable to discuss their pregnancies with their parents, who unfortunately may be unsympathetic or even abusive. Fifty percent of pregnant teens have experienced violence, and thirty percent of teens who do not tell their parents about their decision to have an abortion feared physical retaliation or being forced to leave home. Unfortunately, some young women cannot involve a parent in the very personal decision to terminate a pregnancy.  Forcing minors to notify and involve their parents in situations such as these puts them at risk.


Jewish Values

All life is sacred in Judaism. Although an unborn fetus is precious and to be protected, Jewish values instruct us that the life and well-being of the mother is paramount, and places a higher value on existing life than on potential life. Women are commanded to care for their own health and well-being above all else. It is due to the fundamental Jewish belief in the sanctity of life that abortion is viewed as both a moral and correct decision under some circumstances.


Take Action

Urge your Representative to oppose the Parental Notification and Intervention Act of 2013 (H.R. 3601). For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Sarah Greenberg or call 202.387.2800.

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