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A parental consent law for abortion would create harms and violate medical ethics and constitutional rights

March 29, 2014

Dear Saskatchewan Members of the Legislative Assembly,

Two anti-abortion groups have recently launched a campaign to enact a law in Saskatchewan requiring parental consent before a minor can have an abortion (http://sk.parentalconsent.ca/).

The attached new Position Paper (also available here http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/postionpapers/58-Parental-Consent.pdf) demonstrates with comprehensive evidence that if a parental consent law for abortion was passed by any Canadian province or territory, it would contravene and reverse current medical policies and ethics around the consent of minors to healthcare, violate their constitutional rights to bodily security and privacy, and increase risks to their health and safety.

In Saskatchewan, a parental consent law for abortion would be particularly harmful and counter-productive, as it would disproportionately impact the high numbers of marginalized youth in your province, as the following facts attest:


Given the environment of poverty and inequity that too many Saskatchewan youth live in, and the evidence submitted in the attached paper, we ask you to please reject any possibility of a parental consent law for abortion. Instead, we urge the Saskatchewan government to follow the recommendations of the above-noted report from the Saskatchewan Child Welfare Review Panel, which urged all levels of government to address the poverty-related conditions that drive child neglect and other social problems. These include making “significant improvements to the income support, affordable housing, and disability service systems used by Saskatchewan families.” We believe this would be the best way forward to protect Saskatchewan youth and improve their futures.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Joyce Arthur

Executive Director

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC)

www.arcc-cdac.ca