by Steven Ertelt
April 27, 2005
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — Lawmakers in the Texas state legislature approved a measure Monday that would require abortion facilities to obtain parental permission before an abortion can be performed on a minor teenager. The measure is intended to further reduce the number of abortions on teens following a 1999 parental notification law.
On Monday night, the House State Affairs Committee voted 6-3 in favor of H.B. 1212, the Parental Consent Act, sponsored by Republican lawmaker Phil King.
The committee voted along party lines with Republicans favoring the measure and Democrats opposing it.
The bill now moves the full state House, though a date for the vote is not yet certain. The pro-life measure has 58 co-sponsors and it is expected to be approved and senate to the state Senate.
King said the bill strengthens the notification law and requires "clear and convincing" evidence for a judge to approve an abortion for a girl without her parents’ involvement.
His legislation would also make it a crime to force a teenager to have an abortion against her will.
Texas Alliance for Life director Joe Pojman applauded the vote and said the bill "restores parents’ rights to protect their minor daughters from abortion."
Pojman said the bill is needed to help ensure parents have a greater role in the judicial bypass process that is intended to allow abused teens to not have to inform their parents. He says the process has become a rubber stamp to approving unrelated requests for abortions.
Texas Governor Rick Perry strongly supports the parental consent bill and said the notification measure had already helped reduce teen abortions by 26 percent. He hopes the new legislation will increase that figure.
"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," Perry said at a January pro-life rally.
"These laws are important landmarks in an effort to create a culture of life and they’re giving our children the protection they deserve as living beings, created in he image of God," Perry said.
Sarah Wheat, spokeswoman for the Texas affiliate of NARAL said her group and other pro-abortion organizations oppose the measure.
Related web sites:
Texas Alliance for Life – https://www.TexasAllianceforLife.org