by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2005
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — Legislation in the Texas state legislature has been introduced that would require abortion facilities to obtain the consent of a parent or legal guardian before performing an abortion on a teenage girl. The bill drew support from a statewide pro-life group.
"We strongly support this bill to restore parents’ rights to protect their little girls from abortion," said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life.
"A school nurse cannot dispense an aspirin to a minor at school without the written consent of a parent," Pojman explained. "Why can a physician perform an abortion on a 13-year-old girl without parental consent? We need to change the law."
According to the Department of State Health Services, in 2003 there were 3,548 abortions performed on teenagers in Texas.
Texas has already passed legislation requiring parents to be notified about a teen’s abortion request, which has helped to reduce the number of abortions on teens by about 30 percent. The consent measure would allow parents to intervene and prevent the abortion and help their daughters find better alternatives.
Those who violate the law would be subject to a $10,000 fine and 180 days to two years in jail.
Rep. Phil King, a Republican from Weatherford, is the sponsor of the bill, which also closes some loopholes in the notification statute that makes it easier for the judicial bypass provision to be abused.
A judicial bypass is normally used to allow teenagers who come from abusive situations to bypass notifying their parents about the abortion. However, some abortion businesses are getting judges to approve virtually every bypass request.
A Scripps Howard Texas Poll conducted in October 2004 shows 81 percent of Texans and 82 percent of Texas women support a consent requirement.
Governor Rick Perry supports the pro-life measure.
Last month, he told a statewide pro-life rally, "It’s time for Texas to have a new parental consent law. Five years ago, we passed a bill requiring parental consent for a child to get her ears pierced. I think it’s time that we applied that rationale and that same rational standard to abortions performed on minors."
The bill is backed by a coalition of 35 pro-life organizations.
Some 24 states currently have parental involvement laws enforced and others have them on the books.
The issue of abortion is considered a hot topic of debate in a potential 2006 gubernatorial primary between incumbent Governor Rick Perry, who is pro-life, and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who backs abortion but often votes for pro-life legislation.
Should Perry be able to push through additional pro-life legislation, he could improve his already strong relations with the pro-life community.
Related web sites:
Texas Alliance for Life – https://www.texasallianceforlife.org