Friday the 23rd of August

...to the ends of the earth

"By means of the internet, the Christian message can reach 'to the ends of the earth'" (Acts 1:8) Pope Francis, Message for World Communications Day, 2014

Coronation Street plot reveals truth on parents’ involvement in underage abortions

Fans of Coronation Street have raised concerns that underage girls can have an abortion in the UK without parental involvement.

Viewers of the ITV soap were recently shocked to discover that 14-year-old Amy Barlow, played by Elle Mulvaney, is pregnant. During a recent episode, the schoolgirl saw a nurse who told her the pregnancy was very early and ran through possible options with the teenager, including the abortion pill.

The nurse suggested to the schoolgirl that if she didn’t want to tell her parents she could speak to an adult first.

However, fans of the show took to social media to voice their concern that the schoolgirl would be able to have a termination without any parental consent.

One tweeted: ‘Wouldn’t a 14 year old legally need permission from their parents or guardians to get medication, especially if it’s so drastic?’

Another wrote: ‘Brave storyline but since when can a 14 year old get an abortion without parental consent?’

Right To Life said the plot brought to light the fact that parents have no legal right to be informed or consulted about their child’s abortion.

“Comments on Twitter showed that Coronation Street viewers were confused and concerned at how a vulnerable, 14-year-old schoolgirl would not need parental consent or involvement to get an abortion,” Clare McCarthy, of Right To Life, told The Catholic Universe. “Viewers were rightly shocked at the lack of requirement for any parental involvement which poses many questions in relation to the safety of the girl and the ability to consent.

“It highlights the lack of legal protections in place to protect vulnerable girls, under the age of consent. A ComRes poll, conducted in 2017, showed that 70 per cent of parents agree that parental or guardian consent should be required for girls aged 15 or under to undergo an abortion.

“This also highlights the ridiculous scenario here in the UK where a girl aged under 16 needs parental consent to take a paracetamol pill at school but does not need any parental consent for her school nurse to take her off to an abortion clinic to terminate her pregnancy,” Ms McCarthy added.

Picture: Amy Barlow (Elle Mulvaney) bunks off school and attends a family planning clinic, explaining to the nurse she’s pregnant and needs the abortion pill. (ITV Plc).