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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The law can truly be an ass. In certain situations the letter of the law overrides and disregards what constitutes fair and responsible interpretation of the law. This particular case illustrates a breakdown in the judicial system. To label the older teen a felon and force them to cope with the stigma of being a registered sex offender for life illustrates out far out of balance the scales of the American judicial system really are. 

Yeah, to me the idea that the older teen became a dangerous sexual predator on her 18th birthday is absurd.

Of course it's absurd.

Why did you, like a demagogue, direct attention to the 14-year-old?

a 14 year old would probably still be in high school, has little knowledge, experience or even a certificate to be able to seek a job and cope with pregnancy and parenting.

Yeah, so perhaps she shouldn't be allowed to get an abortion without parental involvement. Agreed?

Wouldn't that mean that her parents could prevent the abortion just by vetoing it?

Or, the other way around, wouldn't that mean that the parents can force her into an abortion?

Under some state laws, a child of 14 years old does not require parental consent to get an abortion. All she has to do is show up at the clinic with cash in hand. 

As for parents 'forcing' an abortion, no. It doesn't work that way. All the girl has to do is express a reluctance to the abortion provider or staff. While that might be an issue with the parents in direct contact, visitors generally aren't allowed during all points of the procedure. There will be a moment of privacy available for her to make her desires known. 

I doubt if a clinic worker has the legal standing to force a consultation away from a child's parents if the parents don't consent to it. Sounds like something a court could order but otherwise if the parents are there, they should be legally able to insist on being present for just about everything but the surgery itself (assuming a surgical abortion), and even then for hygienic reasons only.

I want to say to Richard E Roberton that his comment (in my opinion) is spot on! (I am new on this and i am not sure if this is responding to his comment - which is what i would like...)

I cannot believe that a 14 year old is not allowed to have control over their own body. This sounds to me like one of the many puritanical controls that prevail in American society.

No you are not (use the "Reply" thing directly under my post if it's available).

But thank you for your support and accolades just the same. :D

I see that his post has no Reply link because sometimes the discussion goes on so long, with each layer of reply becoming a narrower column, that there isn't room left. In that case, you should go up to the last post in the thread that had a "Reply" link at the bottom, open up a comment box and start your reply off with "@Richard E. Robertson." Either that or start a new thread also starting with "@Richard E. Robertson" and quoting the particular parts you want to reply to or discuss.

Your question is begging, Unseen. Maybe it might be better phrased as "Is a 14 year old girl old enough to consent to sex? And if not, why?" Is this correct? I can formulate a more definite reply if so.

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