Pennsylvania Parental Consent Abortion Law Gets Legal Aid

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 28, 2010   |   4:44PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

Attorneys representing pro-life legal groups are giving aid and support to a parental consent law that requires minor teens to get their parent’s permission for an abortion.

Officials with the Alliance Defense Fund and Americans United for Life submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the first-ever review of that court of the pro-life law. The groups are representing the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, the Pennsylvania Family Institute, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, and nearly 70 state legislators who support the law protecting a parent’s right to be involved in their child’s decision regarding abortion.

The Pennsylvania law and others like it have already been upheld at the U.S. Supreme Court and the ADF legal brief argues that a Pennsylvania trial court judge applied the correct legal standard and legitimately exercised his legal authority under the statute when he rejected a minor girl’s request for a secret abortion, stating that she needed consent from at least one of her parents.  

“Parents should have a right to be involved in their child’s critical life-changing decisions, and that includes abortions,” ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman told today. “Secret abortions performed on minors leave children in the hands of a predatory abortion industry that has put profits above parents’ rights and the health and safety of young girls and their preborn children.”

The girl in the lawsuit In re: Jane Doe sought a judicial bypass that would have hidden the abortion from her parents. A Pennsylvania trial court judge denied that bypass. Ultimately, in this case, at least one parent of the girl consented to the abortion of their grandchild.

While the law allows for a bypass in certain circumstances, it does not require rubber-stamp approval of every petition. The brief argues that a judge should have the freedom to carefully weigh the evidence and exercise proper discretion in allowing the parents a role in the abortion decision.

“Pennsylvania law appropriately requires that children obtain parental consent to get a body piercing in Pennsylvania, yet abortionists argue that these same children should be able to secretly kill their preborn babies in a risky medical procedure,” said ADF-allied attorney Randall Wenger of the Independence Law Center. “While the baby in this particular case can never be brought back, the law must be upheld so that Pennsylvania parents may protect their daughters from being victimized under the cover of darkness by the profiteers of death in the abortion industry.”

The Pennsylvania law came under fire from abortion advocates in June when they responded to a bizarre case of a self-induced abortion by claiming abortion isn’t promoted enough and blasting parental involvement laws allowing parents to help persuade their teenagers to not have an abortion.

A 13-year-old Pennsylvania girl reportedly conducted a self-abortion using a lead pencil after her much-older boyfriend subjected her to statutory rape.

The 30-year-old boyfriend, officials say, then buried the body of the dead unborn child after the abortion was completed.

Robin Marty, at the pro-abortion blog RH Reality Check, used the occasion not as a chance to condemn statutory rape or admit how legalizing abortion didn’t stop the self-induced “back alley” abortions it was designed to prevent, but to attack pro-life laws and promote abortion further.

The new parental notification law, that requires parents to be notified about an abortion on their teen daughter but does not need their approval, is currently the subject of a lawsuit in Alaska.