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Can a mother force her 17 yr. old daughter to have an abortion if the 17 yr. old...

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nae-nae

Posted April 23, 2008 at 12:15 PM via web

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Can a mother force her 17 yr. old daughter to have an abortion if the 17 yr. old doesn't want to in Delaware, USA?

The mother lives in Delaware while her seventeen year old daughter has lived in North Carolina for years, but then the mother finds out she is pregnant and immediately comes to NC to get her daughter and make her go back to Delaware to have an abortion. The mother does have custody.

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prospero | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 24, 2008 at 2:50 AM (Answer #1)

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No. 

The U.S. Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, has said that the right of a woman to have an abortion is a constitutional right.  A woman has the right to choose, and being a minor (under 18 years of age) does not infringe on that right.  The mother has no legal right to force her daughter to have an abortion.

In Delaware, like in many states, there are rules in place which do not alter the authority of Roe v. Wade, but only supplement it.  For instance, a woman under the age of 16 in Delaware may not have an abortion until 24 hours after she has given at least one parent noticeof her intent to have an abortion.  This is only a notice requirement, however, meaning that the parent must only be notified, and it does not require the consentof the parent.  So even then, the minor would still be able to have the abortion without the parent's approval. 

While states can and do enact such rules to reasonably require that certain safeguards and considerations be taken into account, the rules may not prohibit the constitutional right of a woman to choose.  The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that your daughter is free to make her own decision.

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