Utah Bill on Parental Consent on Abortion Heads to State Senate

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 13, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Utah Bill on Parental Consent on Abortion Heads to State Senate

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 13, 2006

Salt Lake City, UT (LifeNews.com) — Legislation that would require abortion businesses to receive parental consent before a minor teen can have an abortion advanced to the Utah state Senate. The measure has already passed the state House and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to send it to the Senate.

Rep. Kerry Gibson is the prime sponsor of the bill that requires consent for the abortion, but allows teens to obtain a judicial bypass in cases of rape or incest or when there is the possibility of child abuse.

Though such waivers are required by the Supreme Court, Gibson’s bill allows parents to know about an abortion even when the judicial bypass is used.

That’s a point that abortion advocates used to try to engender opposition to the bill and it could be a point of contention in a potential lawsuit against it should it become law.

The measure, HB 85, would strengthen the state’s current law requiring parental notification. Under the proposal, the abortion practitioner must obtain the consent of one parents 24 hours prior to the abortion.

The Utah Department of Health estimates that 195 girls had abortions in Utah two years ago, according to the latest statistics available. Twenty-four of the girls were younger than 15 and 171 were 15 to 17.

Margaret Plane, the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah told the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper the bill was "constitutionally infirm" because of the notification provision in the bypass procedure.

Sen. Mark Madsen, a Republican, said the notification provision was similar to notifying parents when girls skip school to go skiing and are injured.

Gibson says he was inspired by his ten-year-old daughter to sponsor the bill, known as HB 85.

“This is a parental rights issue. I’m responsible for anything my child does underage…It’s critical parents give their consent to this," Gibson told the Tribune.

TAKE ACTION: Contact your legislators and urge strong support for the parental consent bill to help reduce the number of teen abortions. Go to https://www.le.state.ut.us.