A bill that would require Missouri teens to have two parents notified before getting an abortion passed overwhelmingly in the Missouri House on March 17, easily with enough support to override a potential veto from the state’s Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
This differs from current law, which requires only one parent or guardian be notified, according to STL Today. The proposed law, House Bill 1370, would not require that the parents agree to the abortion, just that they be notified.
State Rep. Rocky Miller of Lake Ozark, said, “It makes sure that parents of the child are informed of this very important decision. I just want to make completely sure that what we’re trying to do here is to start a conversation, not start a fight.”
State Rep. Stacey Newman countered that unplanned pregnancies do not always occur in ideal situations where such a dialogue is reasonable, but Miller argued that these conversations need not occur in perfect families. In fact, he used his family as an example: His daughter had an unplanned pregnancy and chose life despite being a minor and unmarried. Miller said he and his daughter’s mother, who he is not married to, also discussed the situation.
“We worked through it as a broken family, not a whole family,” Miller said.
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The bill managed to get support from several Democrats, and now goes to the state Senate. The final vote was 121-34, according to the report.
Parental notification and parental consent laws have wide public support. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 38 states require some type of parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion.