Texas Parental Consent on Abortion Law Goes Into Effect Next Week

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 26, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Texas Parental Consent on Abortion Law Goes Into Effect Next Week Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 26, 2005

Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — A new law that would make it easier for parents to ensure that their minor daughters are not having abortions goes into effect next week. The law requires abortion facilities to obtain parental permission before performing an abortion on a teenage girl in the state.

Despite the law going into effect September 1, abortion businesses will not have the proper paperwork from the state for parents to fill out until next year. However, abortion practitioners must still obtain consent before performing the abortions.

The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, which must implement the law, has not yet finalized the draft of the consent form, Jill Wiggins, spokeswoman for the board, told the Associated Press.

Wiggins said the board would have to approve the form at an official meeting, which may not happen until next spring. In the meantime, abortion practitioners can use a consent form associated with other medical procedures.

Because of the paperwork delay, Wiggins told AP that the agency would not vigorously pursue cases of not obtaining parental consent unless a formal complaint is filed.

"We are complaint-driven," Wiggins said. "We’re not actively going out inspecting offices."

Heather Paffe, political director for the Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, told AP that the seven abortion businesses it operates would use a modified version of the parental notification letter it sends under the former law requiring only notification.

Texas Governor Rick Perry signed the measure into law in June saying, "A nurturing home with a loving mother and loving father is the best way to guide our children down the proper path."

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."

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. 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.

Abortion advocates opposed letting parents determine the health care decisions of their children.

According to an October 2004 Scripps-Howard Texas poll, 81% of Texans support parental consent.

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