by Steven Ertelt
February 21, 2007
Santa Fe, NM (LifeNews.com) — A New Mexico state Senate panel endorsed a bill on Tuesday that would require telling a teenager’s parents before an abortion can be done on her. The measure now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee for its consideration before heading to the full Senate for a debate and vote.
Under Senate Bill 442, an abortion practitioner has to notify the parents of a girl aged 16 or younger before he can do an abortion. The notification must come 48 hours before the abortion can be done.
The Senate Public Affairs Committee signed off on the bill on a 4-3 vote with Democratic Sen. David Ulibarri joining the Republicans on the committee in voting for it.
The measure faces an uphill battle, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper. Even if the Senate passes the bill, the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee has already voted against a companion measure.
“This is a parenting bill,” Sen. Kent Cravens, an Albuquerque Republican who sponsored the Senate bill, said. “This is a bill that would allow parents to be parents.”
Joan LaMunyon-Sanford, director of the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, said the pro-abortion group opposes the bill and worried it would put girls who are victims of abuse in jeopardy even though it has a judicial bypass provision.
“This legislation is punitive and mean-spirited,” LaMunyon-Sanford said, according to the newspaper.
Bu Cravens pointed out that any girl who is in an abusive situation at home can get a waiver from a judge to have an abortion without notifying the parents.
During the committee vote, Sen. Dede Feldman tried to add an amendment to the bill to not require notification when a girl’s health is jeopardy, but Cravens opposed the amendment saying it would gut the intent of the bill because it’s so broad.