Parens Patriae Argumentative Essay

3232 Words13 Pages
At the end of our junior year of high school, my best friend, Hannah, made the decision to have sex with her boyfriend. The next morning she came to me scared beyond belief and told me that the original form of protection they used was ineffective. As Hannah looked in my eyes I could see what was going through her mind; her eyes reflected the fear of rejection and disappointment from her clean-cut, conservative parents and the fear of her plans for college being whisked away in the reading of one little pink plus sign. Every thing she had worked for and dreamed about would be gone if she was to become pregnant and I did what any friend would do; I told her there’s a way to make sure that doesn’t happen. I told her everything I knew about Plan…show more content…
Part of the State’s police power is to promote public health, safety, and welfare. The law recognizes that parents do not always make the best decision for their children. Parens patriae provides the State a wide range of power to interfere and limit parental authority in relation to things that would affect the child’s welfare. If the State views a parental decision or act to be harmful to a child, the State will exercise its parens patriae and police power to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the child (Fourteenth Amendment...). The State recognizes that confidential access to reproductive health care is essential for adolescents because many minors would avoid contraceptive services if forced to involve or notify their parents. Currently, there is no state law that exists to explicitly require parental consent or notification when a minor seeks contraceptive services. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have laws that grant minors access to confidential contraceptive…show more content…
However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the "State has a somewhat broader authority to regulate the activities children than of adults”(Fourteenth Amendment...). Children are afforded the same constitutional guarantees against government deprivations in the same manner that adults are protected. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has given three reasons why the constitutional rights of children should not be equated with the rights of adults. First, the State is entitled to "adjust its legal system to account for children’s vulnerability" (Fourteenth Amendment...). Second, the State may limit the freedom of children because an assumption is made that children, unlike adults, lack the ability to make critical decisions in an informed, mature manner. Third, the Supreme Court acknowledges the importance of the parental role in child-rearing and, thus, justifies limiting the freedom of minors since "the child is not merely the creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations" (Fourteenth Amendment...). A duty to prepare" is interpreted by the Supreme Court to include raising a child with "moral standards, religious belief, and elements of good citizenship" (Fourteenth Amendment...). The State gives deference to parents because
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