by Steven Ertelt
May 27, 2005
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — The Texas state Senate gave final approval to legislation that requires abortion facilities to obtain parental consent before performing an abortion on a teenage girl. Current law requires abortion practitioners to tell parents, but they are not legally allowed to prevent their children from having one.
The measure received a 23-7 vote and now heads to Governor Rick Perry, who has pledged to sign it into law. The House previously approved the abortion requirement 117 to 19 on May 16.
"As a mother, I feel very strongly that on any medical procedure performed on one of my minor children, I should be involved and give my consent," said Sen. Jane Nelson, a Republican who promoted the measure Thursday.
The bill also prohibits abortions after 26 weeks of pregnancy unless necessary to prevent the death of the mother or the unborn child has serious brain damage.
While opponents of the measure repeatedly struck down the bill on technicalities during the legislative process, pro-life advocates and grassroots supporters of the measure fought back by overwhelming the Senate with calls and emails in the remaining days of the session.
"The parents of Texas are the clear winners," said Kyleen Wright, president of Texans for Life Coalition. "We are grateful to see this popular, common-sense legislation has passed, and expect that teen pregnancy, births and abortions will decrease significantly as a result."
"We are very pleased with the vote in the Texas Senate," Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, added. "This parental consent measure goes a long way towards restoring the rights of parents taken away by the Supreme Court in its tragic Roe v. Wade decision."
According to the Department of State Health Services, in 2003 over 3,500 abortions were performed on minor girls in Texas.
"In none of those cases did parents have the legal right to intervene to protect their little girls from abortion," said Pojman. "We expect this measure will continue to decrease abortions, pregnancies, and births for minors in Texas. It’s just plain good public policy."
According to an October 2004 Scripps-Howard Texas poll, 81% of Texans support parental consent.