Rights of Minors in Reproductive Choice Audrey, Carina, Jessie, Maggie, Mary Ann

Little Suzie Q came into the clinic today, With a facial expression of pure dismay. “What’s wrong?” the nurse asks, with concern in her voice, “Last month I messed around with too many boys.” “I peed on a stick and saw two lines, And I’m worried my parents will notice the signs.”
As a Catholic, Suzie was raised with some rules, No sex before marriage, remember, boys drool! But now that she’s pregnant, she must use her voice. It’s up to the nurse to help Suzie make a choice. “Let’s go over your options,” the nurse said, As many thoughts raced through her head.
Now, in Tennessee, the law declares, Parents must consent to their child’s care. When it comes to abortion, the rules are tricky, Now this is where Suzie’s story gets sticky. Suzie’s a minor because she’s fourteen, She’ll need a parent or judge’s permission - it’s the routine.

16:55 - 17:44

If you are under 18 years old and want an abortion, one parent or legal guardian must give permission before you can get one. That is called parental consent. If that’s not possible, you are able to ask a judge for permission, or get special permission if it’s an emergency. This is called judicial bypass.

You do not need your parent/s permission if it is a medical emergency and/or you are the victim of abuse, assault, incest or neglect.

So, what is a nurse's role and obligation in this situation?


Nurses have a professional obligation to counsel all minors seeking an abortion on all of their options (i.e. discussing abortion, adoption and keeping the baby). Additionally, nurses must talk with the minor about their birth control options for moving forward. Some states also require that providers counsel on available clinics that offer birth control. (Westrick, 2014, page 136)

What would you do in this situation?


An Overview of Minors' Consent Law. (2016). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-minors-consent-law

Hickey, K. (n.d.). Minors’ Rights in Medical Decision Making. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from https://www.bhclr.edu/!userfiles/pdfs/course-materials/Minors%20Rights%20in%20Medical%20Decision%20Making.pdf

Judicial Bypass Procedures: Undue Burdens For Young People Seeking Safe Abortion Care. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/publications-a-z/2508-judicial-bypass-procedures

Marr, A. (2015, June). Judicial Bypass procedures. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/publications-a-z/2508-judicial-bypass-procedures

Parental Consent and Notification Laws | Judicial Bypass. (2016). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/parental-consent-notification-laws

Sex in the States: Tennessee. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://sexetc.org/states/tennessee

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jessie gallimore


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