The High Court has ruled that unless the child decides otherwise, the mother of an underage girl has no right to be informed if she is being advised on having an abortion. The judge claimed that giving parents this right may cause the child to “make a decision that she later regrets or seek the assistance of an unofficial abortionist”. So just what rights do parents have over the welfare of their children, when something as fundamental as this has been removed from their hands? Who, in any case, will deal with the emotional fallout from an abortion? No doubt, it will be left to parents to pick up the pieces if things go wrong. On the one hand, Tony Blair blames parents for the rise of the yob culture, even going to the extent of jailing them for their child’s truancy. On the other hand, court rulings like these imply that parents must cede their rights to the State. What is going on here?