Kentucky Legislator Proposes Parental Notification Law

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

Kentucky Legislator Proposes Parental Notification Law

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
December 9, 2003

Frankfort, KY ( — Next year, the Kentucky legislature will consider a new law that would require parents to be notified if their minor child seeks an abortion.

Rep. Lonnie Napier (R-Lancaster), pre-filed the legislation for next session, hoping to give parents back the right to know about what kind of medical attention their children are receiving. Currently, teenagers in Kentucky have a constitutional right to privacy that supersedes the parental rights.

"Parents have the right to know what their children are doing. Right now a youngster 11-years-old can have a sexual disease and the parents wouldn’t know it,” Napier told the Kentucky Post. “I think that is terrible.”

The legislation would require health workers to notify the parent or guardian in person, by phone or by certified mail of services performed within two days following the administration of the services. However, if the health worker believes notification would cause physical or mental abuse of the child, no notification is required.

Pro-life groups support the measure saying parents in most situations care for their teenager and would want to help them find help in their pregnancy situation.

“Kentucky Right to Life Association believes that parents are the proper authorities for children to consult regarding medical drugs because of health reasons and those parents are the ones to offer guidance and direction in decisions that will affect their children’s emotional and spiritual stability,” said Margie Montgomery, Executive Director of KRLA.

Terence O’Malley, director of public affairs for the Kentucky Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said such laws threaten adolescent health and well-being.

"I think it is a bad idea and the results would be disastrous,” said Terence O’Malley, director of public affairs for the Kentucky Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. “The result will be more teen pregnancy, more sexually transmitted diseases and more abortions.”

However, pro-life leaders in Texas say that, after their parental consent law went into effect, teen abortions dropped by some 30 percent in their state.

The parents of Holly Patterson, the 18-year-old girl who died of complications from taking RU-486 given to her by a California Planned Parenthood facility, have endorsed parental involvement laws in their state. They did not know she was pregnant until just hours before her death, when it was too late to save their daughter.

Related web sites:
Kentucky Right to Life –