by Steven Ertelt
June 6, 2005
Ft. Worth, TX (LifeNews.com) — Texas Governor Rick Perry on Sunday signed into law a measure approved by the state legislature that would require abortion practitioners to first obtain consent from a parent before performing an abortion on a minor teenager. The law strengthens the state’s existing parental notification requirement.
"For too long, a blind eye has been turned to the rights of our most vulnerable human beings _ that’s the unborn in our society," Perry told a crowd of about 1,000 people gathered at the Calvary Christian Academy for the bill signing.
"A nurturing home with a loving mother and loving father is the best way to guide our children down the proper path," Perry added.
Perry said the notification measure had already helped reduce teen abortions by 26 percent. He hopes the new legislation will increase that figure.
According to the Department of State Health Services, in 2003 over 3,500 abortions were performed on minor girls in Texas.
Texas Alliance for Life director Joe Pojman applauded Perry 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.
Perry’s actions also drew him praise from national pro-life groups.
"Parental consent is reasonable legislation that returns the authority to parents on such critical decisions," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said. "Parents need to be involved as their children encounter life and death decisions facing their family."
The measure received a 23-7 vote in the state Senate and the House previously approved the abortion requirement 117 to 19 on May 16.
Sarah Wheat, spokeswoman for the Texas affiliate of NARAL said her group and other pro-abortion organizations opposed the measure. There was no word on whether she would challenge the law in court.
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.
According to an October 2004 Scripps-Howard Texas poll, 81% of Texans support parental consent.