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Australian Bill Would Allow Girls Under 16 to Have Abortions Without Parents' Consent

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Young girls under the age of 16 living in Western Australia (W.A.) will be able to get an abortion without their parent's permission under proposed measures introduced to the state's Parliament. 

The current law there requires a teenager under the age of 16, who is still living at home or is dependent on a parent or guardian, to inform the parent or guardian if they are considering an abortion. The parent or guardian must also take part in the conversation between the teenager and the doctor. However, the final decision still remains with the minor.

The age of consent in the Australian state is 16. 

If a minor wants to get an abortion and does not want to inform her parents, she must file an application with the Children's Court, The Daily Mail reported. 

slider img 2W.A. is currently the only jurisdiction in Australia where teens under the age of 16 are required to meet a higher standard of consent for abortions than with other medical care, according to News 9.

In 1998, W.A. became Australia's first state or territory to decriminalize abortion, according to the outlet. 

The Abortion Legislation Reform Bill 2023 would change this by recognizing the concept of the mature minor, whereby a young person has sufficient understanding and intelligence to consent to their own medical treatment, The Mail reported. 

Meanwhile, according to the law in W.A., a child under the age of 16 needs the written consent of a parent or guardian in order to have his or her ears pierced. Similarly, tattoos are illegal for minors under 16 and require written consent from a parent or guardian if the minor is aged between 16 and 18. 

"It is baffling that parental consent is needed for a child to pierce their ears but, if this Bill passes, a child will be able to get an abortion without their parents even knowing," Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said in a statement. 

"This is evidently untrue. Legal requirements should reflect the gravity of a decision and the choice to end the life of an unborn child is certainly a very grave one," the statement concluded

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of