Texas House Approves Parental Consent on Abortion Measure

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 17, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 17, 2005

Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — The Texas House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a measure that would require abortion facilities to obtain parental permission before an abortion can be performed on a minor teenager. The bill is intended to further reduce the number of abortions on teens following a 1999 parental notification law.

The legislation was attached to a bill reauthorizing functions of the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. That’s because a procedural error killed the House consent bill.

Now the bill heads to the state Senate, where a committee last week passed a similar version. A vote on the Senate version is expected any day.

Texas Alliance for Life director Joe Pojman says 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.

Abortion advocates opposed the consent requirement and said the bill was politically motivated.

"It doesn’t meet any positive public health goals," Sarah Wheat, spokeswoman for NARAL’s Texas affiliated, told the Associated Press. "But what it does do is help politicians who like to use this issue politically."

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.

The House abortion measures were added to SB 419 and the Senate parental consent bill is SB 1150.

In 2002, 3,499 abortions were performed on girls younger than 18 in Texas

Related web sites:
Texas Alliance for Life – https://www.TexasAllianceforLife.org