Asking the Right Questions: A Comprehensive Example

Teenagers face extremely complicated social and emotional issues. The issues are inescapable, but most teens are not prepared to rationally handle them. Because they are ill prepared, the need for effective and honest communication between teens and their parents is more vital than ever. Parent’s wisdom, accumulated by their experience and study, can guide their children to the best decision. This pressing need for communication is being undermined however, by the extension of individual rights to minors.

A troubling example of minor’s rights taken much too far is the federal law that permits minors to obtain an abortion without parental consent. The reasoning behind such a law is that a girl will be less likely to get the abortion she wants if she must disclose her intentions to her parents. What these supporters fail to consider is that just because a minor wants to get an abortion does not mean she should get one. Think about it. Would you want your daughter to make an impulsive decision about such an important matter? This law needs to be changed before more teenagers’ lives are destroyed.

Compare the situation with that of a young child who is terribly distraught over a particular bully’s constant taunting. The child may want to retort with nasty remarks or a physical fight. Only after consulting with a parent will the child realize that a confrontation yields more aggravation and possible physical harm.

Similarly, a girl who discovers she is pregnant will be overcome with emotions — regret, confusion, guilt, disappointment, and fear. With these emotions weighing upon her, she is likely to act unthinkingly. She needs the mature and rationale guidance a parent can provide to avoid making an impulsive decision.

Supporters also argue that involuntary parental consent will only damage the parent/child relationship by escalating conflict and stress. Just the opposite is the case, however. Parental consent requirements prevent disastrous scenes that will inevitably occur if parents discover their daughter has had an abortion without their consent.

Of course, some tensions may arise when the daughter reveals her pregnancy, but this initial tension is a small price to pay for an open and honest relationship. Statutes that allow abortions to be administered without parental consent prevent girls from seeking the advice of the people who care so much for them.

These anti-parental-consent laws developed out of a legitimate concern for a minor’s rights, but what about the rights of the parents? Law requires parental consent when a minor is to undergo any medical procedure. A minor can be refused medical attention until one parent consents, except in emergency situations. This law even applies to a minor’s wish to get their ears pierced! In such cases, the law recognizes the parents’ right to know the state of their child’s well being. It is a denial of this right, therefore, to permit minors to undergo the medical procedure of an abortion without parental consent. If the government considers the safety and health of a minor so important, then it should protect that safety in all instances.

Also, parents need to know if their child has had an abortion in case she suffers any physical or emotional side effects, which are nearly inevitable. In a survey of gynecologists, 91 percent had treated patients with complications from legal abortions. These complications included uncontrollable bleeding, hemorrhaging, seizures, infections, abdominal pains, and cervical lacerations.

Equally damaging are the psychological effects, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. A recent research study shows that teenage girls who have experienced abortion tend to experience depression at a much higher rate than do those who have not. Perhaps most frightening is another study showing that 60 percent of women who have post-abortion trauma have suicidal thoughts.

If parents are unaware that their daughter has undergone an abortion, then how can they be attentive to the warning signs for suicide and the other disorders? The answer is that they can’t; and without proper treatment, these side effects may become more damaging to the girl’s health than if they were attended to immediately.

Those who disagree with parental consent requirements often cite well-known organizations that share their view, such as Planned Parenthood. But Planned Parenthood rejects the requirements for economic reasons rather than ideological ones. The organization’s caseload of teen pregnancies decreases by as much as 85 percent in states where parental consent is mandatory for an abortion by a minor. The result of a reduced caseload is a reduced cash flow. Obviously, Planned Parenthood is not going to support a practice that is not profitable for them.

Not everyone is deceived by these organizations’ professed support. In several polls, over 70 percent of people surveyed were in favor of parental notification laws. Also, many religious organizations have voiced strong support for such laws. Yet, liberal courts and an unresponsive government are failing to address the public’s wishes. What the courts and the government do not understand is the importance of fostering communication between children and parents on the sensitive issues of the day.







Exam Two Analysis and Evaluation Worksheet

Use this worksheet to analyze and evaluate the article provided to you for Exam Two.  You may type your answers directly into the boxes provided. (As you type your answers directly onto this worksheet the boxes will expand to fit your responses.  You will need to submit this worksheet along with your exam for credit.  If you do not submit this worksheet, showing your work, you may receive a zero on the exam.  Please submit this document directly to our “Week 9 – Exam Two Analysis and Evaluation Worksheet Submission Link” on TITANium.  Good luck!

1.     What is the issue?

(Be sure you state the issue in the form of a question.)







2.     What is the author’s conclusion?







3.     List the reasons the author gives to support his/her conclusion. (Please put in a numbered or bullet-point format.)







4.     Identify ambiguous and vague terms used in the author’s argument.







5.     What are the value conflicts and the author’s value assumptions?







6.     What are the descriptive assumptions?





7.     Are there any fallacies in the reasoning?


8.     How good is the evidence?


9.     Are there rival causes?


10.  Are the statistics deceptive?


11.  What significant information is omitted?


12.  What reasonable conclusions are possible?






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