Arkansas Bill Would Require Parental Consent for Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
January 4, 2005
Little Rock, AR (LifeNews.com) — Newly-proposed legislation in the Arkansas state legislature would require that abortion facilities first obtain consent from a parent or guardian before a teenager is allowed to have an abortion. Current law requires that parents be notified beforehand, but consent is not needed.
Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson, a Republican from Little Rock, has put forward the measure, HB 1033.
"A bill almost identically like this passed both the House and the Senate in the last regular session, but the session ended before it could become law," Hutchinson told the Arkansas News Bureau.
Hutchinson said similar legislation has been passed in other states and has been upheld in courts. Whether via notification or consent, such parental involvement bills have been credited with lowering the abortion rates among teenagers by one-third.
The bill would contain an exception for very rare cases when the mother’s life is in danger as a result of the pregnancy, though abortion facilities must still attempt to contact the parents.
Should a parent not allow a teenage girl to have an abortion, a Supreme Court-manded judicial bypass provision would allow a judge to consider the abortion request and decide whether it was in the teen’s best interest.
In 2003, Arkansas required abortionists to tell women that they may see an ultrasound image of their unborn child prior to an abortion. The law is designed to educate pregnant women and encourage them to choose abortion alternatives.
Related web sites:
Arkansas Right to Life – https://www.artl.org