Wisconsin Legislature Approves Parental Consent on Abortion Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 2, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wisconsin Legislature Approves Parental Consent on Abortion Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 2, 2005

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — The Wisconsin state Assembly on Tuesday voted to require abortion businesses to first obtain the consent of a minor teen’s parents before performing an abortion on her. The bill now heads to the Senate, but Gov. Jim Doyle says he would veto it if it reaches his desk.

The Assembly approved the legislation on a 61-34 vote and it would tighten the current parental consent law that allows others to sign off on a teen’s abortion, including another adult family member like an aunt or grandfather or a foster parent. The measure would allow only parents and legal guardians to permit an abortion.

Doyle spokesman Dan Leistikow told the Associated Press the governor would veto the measure because "Wisconsin already has a strong parental consent law, and it is working."

But pro-life groups say the current law also allows minors to obtain a court waiver instead of parental permission and can have a member of the clergy or a psychologist submit their request. That takes the major medical decision out of the parents’ hands.

Rep. Leak Vukmir, a Republican, said the state needs to close those loopholes in the current law and said the state should encourage parents to help their children choose abortion alternatives.

"Why are we so afraid of parents talking to their children," Vukmir asked.

Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services says there were 737 abortions on minors in 2003 and 62 of those abortions were performed when a family member other than a parent gave permission.

The agency doesn’t know how many of the parents had legal custody of the children having abortions.

The Assembly had also planned to consider legislation informing all women considering an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy that it causes severe pain for the unborn child, but that vote was put off until next week.

Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life – https://www.wrtl.org