Arkansas State House Approves Parental Consent on Abortion Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 3, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arkansas State House Approves Parental Consent on Abortion Bill

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 3, 2005

Little Rock, AR ( — The Arkansas state House overwhelmingly approved a measure on Wednesday requiring abortion facilities to obtain consent from a parent or guardian before an abortion can be performed on a teenage girl.

The House approved the bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson, on a 83-13 vote after some debate.

The measure strengthens the state’s parental notification law and is an attempt to further reduce the number of teen abortions. Similar laws in other states have lowered the number of teenage abortion by 30 percent or more.

Rep. Joyce Elliott, a Democrat from Little Rock, spoke against the measure and claimed it was another attempt to deny women the so-called right to legal abortions.

“This is more creep or encroachment on women’s rights," she said.

“We act as if women just go down and get an abortion like they’re buying a pair of shoes," Elliott said, according to an Arkansas News report. “I’m tired of men telling women what they must do or can’t do … with their bodies."

Hutchinson said such laws pass constitutional muster and have been validated by the Supreme Court.

"This is a common sense bill," Hutchinson said, adding that teenagers need parental permission for a number of other requests such as field trips and other medical services.

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 bill contains an exception for girls who are in abusive situations and allows a judge to consider an abortion request in such cases.

Governor Mike Huckabee has endorsed the legislation.

"This proposal will be part of the governor’s package and will have his full support," said spokesman Rex Nelson last month.

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.

Jerry Edwards of Little Rock Family Planning Services, the state’s only abortion business, also opposed the bill.

According to the state Department of Health, 483 teenage girls had abortions in 2003, the latest year for which figures are available.

Related web sites:
Arkansas Right to Life –