Ohio Senate OKs Bill to Strengthen Parental Consent on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 27, 2011   |   7:10PM   |   Columbus, OH

The Ohio state Senate has approved a bill meant to strengthen the parental consent law in place that prohibits teens from getting an abortion without their parents’ consent is moving along in the legislative process.

House Bill 63 and Senate Bill 8 would revise Ohio’s current judicial bypass provision in the parental consent on abortion law. This bill will strengthen current law by requiring a “clear and convincing evidence” standard, require judges to specifically inquire about the minor’s understanding of the possible physical and emotional complications of an abortion, and require judges to question how much the minor has been prepped to respond to such questions.

Parental involvement laws like consent and notification have proven very effective in lowering the number of teen abortions, but abortion businesses have sometimes turned to pro-abortion judges to rubber stamp a judicial bypass for an abortion that allows a teen to keep her parents in the dark. The provision is meant for very rare cases in which a young girl may be subjected to physical abuse for telling her parents about a desired abortion — not for any case in which a teen girl doesn’t want to have a conversation with her mother and father.

Today, the House Senate passed the measure by a 23 to 9 bipartisan vote this afternoon.

Ohio Right to Life strongly supported the legislation and said it “will protect minors and their unborn children by closing loopholes and raising the bar to protect parents’ ability to care for their children.”

“We thank Senate President Tom Niehaus and the pro-life members of the Senate who continue to advance life-saving policies,” said Mike Gonidakis, director of the pro-life group.  “H.B. 63 strengthens parents’ ability to care for their children and prevents lawyers and others from taking mom and dad’s place when the child needs them most.”

“Current Ohio law states that parental consent is required before a minor can obtain an abortion, but a loophole exists which allows judges to bypass parental involvement and allow a minor to obtain an abortion,” Gonidakis said. “H.B. 63 puts an end to this “rubber-stamp” judicial approval.”

Today’s vote on the Senate floor follows the overwhelming 64 to 33 bipartisan vote of support it received in the Ohio House earlier this year. After the House concurs with today’s passage of the legislation, the bill will be sent to pro-life Governor John Kasich to be signed into law.