The Missouri House approved a bill Wednesday to require that both parents be notified if an underage girl wants to abort her unborn baby.
While the state currently requires that one parent consent to a minor’s abortion, it currently does not require that both parents be informed of the decision. The legislation would change that.
KMIZ News reports the bill would require that both parents who have custody of the girl be notified in writing of the girl’s plans to abort her unborn baby. Exceptions would be allowed if a parent has been convicted of a sexual offense or if they cannot be located.
The Wednesday vote was an initial approval of the bill, according to the AP. The state House must vote again on the bill before it can move to the state Senate.
State lawmakers considered similar bills in the past several years, but they did not pass the full legislature.
Parental involvement laws have strong public support. According to a 2009 Pew Research Poll, “Even among those who say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, 71 percent favor requiring parental consent” before girls under 18 have abortions. A 2011 Gallup poll also found 71 percent of Americans favor such laws.
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These common-sense laws have been effective in reducing abortion rates across the country. A 2011 study by Michael New, Ph.D. at the University of Alabama found that parental involvement laws reduce in-state abortion rates for minors by approximately 15 percent.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 38 states require some type of parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion.