Idaho Legislator Brings Back Bill for Parental Consent on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
February 5, 2007
Boise, ID (LifeNews.com) — An Idaho state legislator is bringing back a bill that would require parental consent before a teenager can have an abortion. The state has approved the law before but abortion advocates successfully challenged it in court.
Sen. Russ Fulcher, a Republican from Meridian, says he has deleted provisions from the bill that have been found unconstitutional and he’s hoped the revised measure will work.
Fulcher told the Senate State Affairs Committee on Friday during a hearing on the bill that he removed provisions that U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled unconstitutional in the legislature’s last attempt to approve the measure.
"We had a number of attorneys who have worked on this over the past year," Fulcher said, according to an AP report. He added that the current proposal is based on an Arizona parental consent law that has withstood court scrutiny.
The new measure includes a judicial bypass provision that courts have said must be a part of parental involvement laws. The bypass allows a teenager to avoid the notification or consent requirement in cases where they are victims of abuse.
Because of the past problems, the legislature adopted a new standard saying the attorney general must sign off on the constitutionality of an abortion bill before it can get a legislative hearing.
Deputy attorney general Bill von Tagen told the committee on Friday that the parental consent measure would likely fare well in court.
"We have the highest degree of confidence in this language that we feel we can have," von Tagen said, according to the AP report.
Pro-life groups support the proposal and Bryan Fischer, director of the Idaho Values Alliance, told AP, "It’s unconscionable to deprive teenage girls of the counsel of their parents when they are considering a life-altering decision."
But Marty Durand, of the Idaho Women’s Network, said pro-abortion groups oppose the proposal and claimed it endangers teenagers.
The court decisions have cost Idaho more than $730,000, including a requirement to pay nearly $400,000 in attorney fees toPlanned Parenthood, which challenged the last parental consent law in 2005.