by Steven Ertelt
January 13, 2005
Little Rock, AR (LifeNews.com) — Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has endorsed legislation that would require abortion practitioners to first obtain parental consent before performing an abortion on a teenage girl. Current law requires that parents be notified beforehand, but consent is not needed.
"This proposal will be part of the governor’s package and will have his full support," said spokesman Rex Nelson.
The parent or guardian must provide identification and the signature must either be notarized or the consent form must be signed in the presence of the abortion practitioner. The goal is to ensure that abortion advocates do not use other adults to provide fake signatures authorizing abortions.
The legislation, House Bill 1033, is sponsored by state Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson, a Little Rock Republican.
Hutchinson said he spoke with Huckabee about the bill.
"We talked yesterday, and he told me he it was going to be part of his package," Hutchinson told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "Anytime you have the weight of the governor behind it, it increases its chances of passing."
Huckabee supported a 2003 version of the bill that passed in the state House and Senate before dying in a legislative committee responsible for reconciling the versions passed by each chamber.
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