Michigan House Fails Second Overide Attempt on Parental Consent Abortion Bill
by Steven Ertelt
March 23, 2004
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — For the second time, the Michigan state House failed to find enough votes to override pro-abortion Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s veto of legislation that tightens the parental consent law allowing parents to be involved in their teenage daughter’s abortion decisions.
The House on Tuesday voted 68-35 in favor of the override, but the vote was five short of what was needed. In February, the House came three votes shy of overriding the veto.
Matt Resch, a spokesman for Republican House Speaker Rick Johnson of LeRoy, told the Associated Press that a second vote was held when reports surfaced that some legislators who had voted against the override the first time around would change their minds.
Pro-life groups say the bill is needed to stop the judicial bypass in the law from being abused.
"According to the State Court Administrative Office, up to 800 bypasses are applied for each year and approximately 90% of those judicial bypass waivers are granted. In many instances, the judicial bypass system has become a rubber-stamp process," Kristen Hemker of the Michigan Catholic Conference told LifeNews.com previously.
The House did not move to reconsider the vote at a later date. That means the override effort is officially over and the bill is dead. Legislators will need to propose the bill anew during the next legislative session.
"Achieving an override is very difficult, especially as we ask pro-life legislators from the governor’s party to override her veto," Ed Rivet, Legislative Director of Right to Life of Michigan, previously told LifeNews.com.
HB 4478 would set guidelines for granting a judicial waiver to allow a minor to seek an abortion without notifying her parents by including the level of her maturity, circumstances of her pregnancy, and how many abortions she has had previously. A judge would also be prohibited from granting a waiver to a minor who has already been denied one by another judge, eliminating "judge shopping" that pro-life leaders say has been taking place.
According to statistics from the Michigan Department of Community Health, the number of abortions performed on minors has been cut by over 55% and the number of teenagers giving birth has decreased by over 49% since passage of Michigan’s parental consent law in 1990.
The state Department of Community Health said there were 1,744 abortions among girls between ages 15 and 17 in 2001.