Why isn't a 14 year old girl old enough to consent to sex?

After all, we think a 14 year old should be in control of her body enough to decide on her own to have an abortion, so why isn't she old enough to consent to sex?

I'm thinking about this because of a case that's in the news today:

Kaitlyn Hunt, or “Kate,” has just refused a plea deal in a case that has focused the nation on discriminatory prosecutions and ways in which LGBT people are treated differently by some prosecutors. Kate Hunt, a high school senior who began a consensual relationship with a classmate three years her junior, when she was 17, was arrested when she turned 18 after her girlfriend’s parents demanded her arrest and expulsion from school.

The Florida prosecutor, Brian Workman, offered her a deal vastly different from those generally offered to teens in her situation engaged in opposite-sex consensual relationships. Instead of offering her a misdemeanor charge Hunt is being charged with two felonies. Her plea deal would include her being forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life, no possibility of her case being overturned or records sealed, and forced to serve two years’ house arrest.

“Hunt will appear in court June 20, and could face 15 years in prison if convicted... (source)

I'm curious what your thoughts are on the question in the subject line as well as on this case.

Tags: Hunt, Kaitlyn, rape, sex, statutory, underage

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Thanks for the link. I am not arguing the morning afterpill drama for right now...that's a whole other can of worms. But in regards to the abortion, I have to agree that Planned Parenthood probably does push for the abortion more times than adoption. I personally am so anti-abortion it's not even funny. I'm pro-adoption. But my own bias aside: Planned Parenthood does go through all the birth control options available and they do discuss with the mothers-to-be what their options are...this statement from the article here...

“For anyone who comes in and has a positive pregnancy test, we have to go through the options.

From my experience they ask you what you want if you are pregnant before revealing the results of the test to get an idea where your thoughts are...They ask about sexual abuse before this as well...I personally have not found out I was pregnant through Planned Parenthood but I have gone there under other circumstances. This however was about 15 years ago so maybe things have changed...I just know that they DO ask questions. I may need to consider this a little more. I do however know that a 14 year old pregnant teenager needs support and I do not believe that taking away the ability to get an abortion would solve anything. I also do not believe that lowering the age of consent would do us any good....so again: What is your stance on that Unseen? Do you think the age of consent should be lowered? Do you think abortion should not be available? I do not think simply saying that if someone is old enough to have sex they are old enough to get an abortion. I don't think you can mesh the two together and say, "If A, then B." It's more like, "A + B does NOT equal C"...LOL!!!

"Going through the options" needn't amount to actual teen counseling but rather just presenting a list of the types of abortion options available. 

Also, if you have read the NY Times article I linked to, you'll realize that PP policy and actual practice can vary widely.

I think consenting to sex and choosing an abortion is not the right comparison.

The bigger question for me is, how can we as a society say that anyone under 16 does not have the ability to choose sex, but if they kill someone, they knew what they were doing and hold them responsible.

I have watched the age at which we try children as adults go lower and lower, this alarms me. 

A 15 year old girl does not know what she is doing when she has sex, but a 12 year old boy should be tried as an adult for killing someone?

I concur, Dennis, if they're going to set an arbitrary age that defines when a person should be expected to accept adult responsibility for their actions, it should apply across the board, and they shouldn't be able to pick and choose which cases don't fall into that category.

Apparently psychopaths are typically born, not made. Hopefully (or perhaps I should say ideally) prosecutors use trial as an adult as a way to get a psychopath out of public life before they kill someone else. Even when convicted, I don't think minors are generally subjected to capital punishment. 

BTW, I don't relate well to the idea that kids don't really understand death. Who does? If they realize that if they kill someone they won't be around for their next birthday party, that's understanding enough for me. I think a lot of adults don't think much beyond that, either.

"Going through the options" needn't amount to actual teen counseling but rather just presenting a list of the types of abortion options available

I can see where this is definitely a problem. What do you propose as an alternative.

 PP policy and actual practice can vary widely.

Sadly this is also true. As with any big business congruence and continuity is an ideal almost never met. It's a big problem...again...another topic for another day..... but again: What are you actually saying? Where specifically do you disagree with what I've said?

I'm not sure we totally disagree, but PP, I'm pretty sure, only goes over the options the client wants to hear. If a teen comes in and wants whatever abortion options are available to here, I doubt if they're going to make her hear them if she's not interested and just wants to get an abortion done. She'll get only the counseling she wants. Why? Because being too heavy-handed can seem judgmental and may drive her away, which is counterproductive.

I agree that is NOT the right way to counsel a 14 year old. I learned something new. I was unaware they were/are that stupid to allow a 14 year old dictate their care without considering her entire person/circumstances. I am always for a holistic approach (not in a woo sense) to healthcare. This saddens me greatly. But do we then say that abortion should not be available to a young 14 year old as an option? What do we do then? Is she capable of deciding? - Not any more so than she is about the consequences of her actions. So if her parents are guiding her (and should be) GREAT...but if not? Then what? hmmm.

Well, as I explained elsewhere, once the Federal judge's decree goes into effect, buying a Plan B 72-hour abortion pill will be as easy as buying a pack of gum for anyone who has the cash, age not a consideration. 

I'm just asking if we feel we have to respect her ownership of her body to the extent of letting her decide whether or not to have an abortion (when she can't get plastic surgery or dental implants on a similar basis), why stop respecting that right when it comes to her sex life?

People say, "Well, she doesn't understand the implications of having sex with an adult at that age," but can we really prepare her for the consequences of aborting her fetus? Will she in her 20's or 30's regret not having the baby?

Yes she might well regret it - but at least she is regretting it without impacting another human life.  I think it's a better bet to have her regret not having a baby, than to regret having one. 

Personally, I believe once a child hits teens, there should be considered a set of "mid-rights", or some form of teen rights. Should sex be included? Well, whether you want to include it or not, it will be apart of it either in practice or rebellion.

Also, please soften my seemingly harshness towards you. I had just woke up.


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