by Steven Ertelt
February 16, 2005
Little Rock, AR (LifeNews.com) — The Arkansas state Senate has approved legislation that would require abortion facilities to obtain the approve of a parent or legal guardian before an abortion can be scheduled for a teenager.
Arkansas law already requires parents to be notified before an abortion procedure could be performed, but lawmakers say the consent requirement would make it certain that parents know and would help parents encourage their daughters to choose abortion alternatives.
Similar laws in other states have lowered the number of teenage abortion by 30 percent or more.
The Senate approved the bill on Tuesday by a 27-3 vote.
The state House previously approved the bill by Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson, on a 83-13 vote. The legislation now moves to Governor Mike Huckabee, who previously endorsed it.
"This proposal will be part of the governor’s package and will have his full support," said spokesman Rex Nelson last month.
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.
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.
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 – https://www.artl.org