Candy is a 14 year old girl and she comes from a broken home with recently divorce parents. Her acting out in class may be as result of her parents being divorce. She has a boyfriend who is 15 years old and they have unprotected sex which resulted in her pregnancy. The boyfriend has already established he isn’t ready to be a father. This leaves Candy with the decision to have an abortion but she isn’t really sure she can go through with it.
As her counselor, I would like to first sit down and discuss why she has made the decision to have an abortion. I would like to know ask what she knows about the procedure and find out what her feeling really are about the procedure. I would help her with researching and understanding the pros and cons of an abortion. Her best interest and safety is my main focus. I would also help her with understanding other options she may have that are less invasive.
Assuring her she isn’t the only girl that has had to deal with such a situation, I would provide her with alternative methods to handling her situation such as adoption. We would also explore her support system at home. I would attempt to arrange a session with her and her parents to help with coping and communication issues, since Candy is a minor. I would advise her parent consent would be needed for the abortion procedure. She is 14, and she should not have to go through making a decision such as this alone.
I would explain my views on abortion but I would not try and influence her decision. Even though I personally would not consider the procedure as an option due to my religious beliefs, I judge no one that choses it as an option. I believe in abortions as an option for those who are victims of rape or medical abortions to save the mothers’ life. I believe by exploring her options may help with limiting some anxiety she may be having which will allow her to think about the situation more clearly.
Law and ACA Code of Ethics
If Candy resided in the state of South Carolina, she would be considered a minor. A minor is anyone under the age of 17 (“Abortions” Section 44-41-10). According to the state law, an “abortion means the use of an instrument, medicine, drug or other substance or device with the intent to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant for reasons other than to increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve life or health of a child after live birth, or to remove a dead fetus.” “A minor has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court a decision rendered pursuant to Section 44-41-33. She is entitled to an anonymous and expeditious appellate review which takes precedence over other matters pending before the court.” “Failure to obtain required consent constitutes prima facie evidence of interference with family relations in a appropriate civil actions.” (“Abortions” Section 44-41-10). Thus ethically and by law, I have to involve her parents in this matter with her best interest at heart.
The issue is Candy is a minor with the issue of becoming pregnant after having unprotected sex with her 15 year old boyfriend. Candy has chosen the option of abortion to terminate her pregnancy but she is afraid. I would encourage Candy to have a joint session with her parents’ one because of her age and situation, and two, she is pregnant at such a young age and no one should have to go through with making such a decision alone. My counseling with Candy will allow her to be able to be relieved of some of the anxiety, knowing she will not be alone in dealing with this situation.
Corey, G., & Corey, M.S. (2011). Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions (8th ed.).
Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
ACA Code of Ethics. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/ South Carolina Code of Laws Unannoted. Title 44- Health. Chapter 41. Abortions.
Abortions Generally. (2011). http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t44c041.php