Recently while listening to a talk show, a debate ensued over whether or not a parent should be notified before an underage female gets an abortion. My response is an emphatic YES. It stands to reason that the key word here is underage. If a parent is legally responsible for a child until the age of 18; then, in all fairness to the parent, the law should mandate they be informed before such a life-changing decision is made. I realize the argument for the potential life-threatening situation that can arise for the underage child if an unstable parent learns of this dilemma; but allowing this secrecy to silently fester for the rest of this pre-adult's life is even more potentially life-threatening. In a recent discussion with several twenty-something females I was both enlightened and disheartened to learn that most of them would not want their parents to know if they were contemplating this act. They were even more adamant against telling them if a pregnancy had occurred before they were of legal age. I thought of my own daughter; and, how through the years I have maintained a respectful "as-need-to-know" open book of my life. I have always made it crystal clear to her that if something happened in her life, she and I; not her alone; nor she and other misinformed friends; and especially not her and total strangers with no real investment in the decision, would weigh the consequences that would allow her to make the most informed decision regarding her situation. I have always instilled in her that abortion is never an option. From the many dark stories I've heard of how the emotional scars from this act never fully heal, she and I both agree with a Divine belief that if Father God allows the human seed to be planted, it is with an inevitable purpose for the persons involved. I realize there are a lot of children born, who suffer at the hands of their ill-prepared parents; but, I also know the mental and physical repercussions of snuffing out the life of your own child have to be staggering and infinite. The thought of a child (anyone under 18) having sex outside of marriage is a sad commentary in its own light. The thought of a child being seduced by the moment and obviously ill-prepared to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, not to mention some incurable disease, is an even sadder commentary. But perhaps the saddest commentary of all: At such a fragile age, in such a fragile state, a child has to make such an adult decision without weighing the perspective of a parent, whose opinion they'd probably love to have, and value the most. I'm reminded of a proverbial phrase. What a tangled web we weave, when first we set out to deceive. Anyone who does something under a dark cloud filled with the burden of secrecy, is foolish to think it won't surface to the light in one destructive form or another.