New Hampshire Governor Signs Parental Notification Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 21, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC


New Hampshire Governor Signs Parental Notification Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 21, 2003

Concord, NH ( — Governor Craig Benson (R) signed a bill last week mandating parental notification before an abortion practitioner can perform an abortion on a teenage girl. The pro-life law, similar to those in other states credited with reducing the
number of teen abortions, is the first pro-life law in the state
of New Hampshire since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision
that legalized abortions.

"We are giving parents their rights back. I can’t think of a
better gift that we can give to the parents in the state of New
Hampshire than allowing them to participate in their children’s
lives," Benson, said after signing the bill Thursday.

Benson added, "As the father of two daughters, I know parents
need to be involved in a decision that could have severe
long-term mental and physical consequences for their children."

The bill requires abortion facilities to notify a parent in
person or by restricted delivery registered mail, at least 48
hours prior to performing an abortion on a minor.

Pro-life groups hailed the bill’s passage and signing.

Ed Holdgate, president of New Hampshire Right to Life, said
Benson’s leadership was essential to passing the legislation.
"Now New Hampshire parents will have the choice to be involved instead of being circumvented," he said.

Citizens for Life Executive Director Roger Stenson said the
change in law "allows and facilitates communication between
children and their mothers and fathers that had been co-opted by
a public policy of secret abortion on minors."

According to most polls, a majority of New Hampshire residents
back abortion but an overwhelming majority also favor parental

Similar pro-life legislation failed in past years. The law takes
effect at the end of the year.

Click here to contact the Governor to thank him for signing the bill: