Should Physicians Elicit Parental Permission before Providing Termination of Pregnancy to All Adolescent Patients?

Zeljka Stamenković, Vida Jeremić Stojković


We aimed to present a review of current legal regulations worldwide and the main arguments for and against the requirement of parental consent for abortion in adolescents. While confidentiality in sexual and reproductive healthcare has been guaranteed  to adolescents in many countries, many physicians disagree with the practice of providing confidential abortion to adolescents without parental consent. The main reason is that adolescents are not sufficiently mature and competent to independently make decisions and that they need parental protection. Adolescents who are willing to involve parents in their abortion decision will likely benefit from the adult experience and support. The existence of parental involvement legislation reduces the number of adolescent’s abortions. There is a consensus that adolescents should have access to confidential health services and that parental involvement, should not be a barrier to care. However, the majority of adolescents aged 14 to 17 are as competent as adults to understand the risks and benefits of abortion, make voluntary decision ns and provide consent without parents. Also, mandatory parental notification on the intent to undergo abortion may be a trigger for family violence which is dangerous for adolescents and may have long-term consequences.

Conclusion − We support the thesis that involving parents in the process of pregnancy termination should not be mandatory. It should be the decision of a competent adolescent and the obligation rests on the medical professionals to assess the ability of the adolescent to make a competent decision about abortion.


Parental Permission; Adolescents; Minors; Pregnancy; Abortion

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The full text of articles published in this journal can be used free of charge for personal and educational purposes while respecting authors and publishers' copyrights. For commercial purposes no part of this journal may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.