Value voters are mobilizing! On February 7, an enthusiastic crowd arrived in Olympia showing their support of a bill which would require parental notification of an abortion. They came from all over the state to attend the public hearing of the bill (PSSB 5156), some as far away as Oregon and Spokane.
There was overwhelming support of a parent’s right to be notified. Three times as many citizens were present in support of this bill than those who opposed it. Supporters were value voters. Citizens who have deeply held beliefs in areas such as life, family, traditional marriage, parental rights and freedom of religion and conscience. Those in opposition were led by Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
The hearing began with testimony by nonpartisan Senate staff stating that currently in Washington State parents do NOT have the right to be notified before a doctor surgically aborts their daughter’s child. They stated that this bill would establish into law the right of at least one parent to be notified by a doctor that their underage daughter is considering aborting her child. Parents would have to be notified at least 48 hours before the abortion. There is also a judicial bypass to protect girls who are victims of rape or incest.
Senator Benton, the prime sponsor of the bill, delivered a passionate introduction. He stated “parents must consent before their child has a surgery, gets their ears pierced or gets a driver’s license, motorcycle endorsement, instruction permit or even an ID card.” He closed with the powerful video from a KOMO news report of a pro-choice mother’s anger at the Ballard High School for sending her pro-life daughter to an abortion clinic to have her child aborted without her knowledge. You may see the video in our blog.
There were two high school girls from the Tri-Cities who confirmed these facts with excellent testimony. They added, “We can’t even get food samples from Costco without our parents being with us.” which brought laughter to those present.
Unfortunately the stories were not all humorous. Most were sad, heart and soul wrenching stories, bringing tears to those present.
One doctor, an OB/GYN from Tacoma who had been delivering a baby the night before, said “young Lucy” came to him bleeding internally. After an examination he found in her womb the remains of her child’s spine, the devastating result of a botched abortion. Her parents didn’t even know she was pregnant. Another made a superb point in saying: “The children’s emotional and cognitive maturity is not always in line with their capacity to become pregnant.”
The most moving stories came from women themselves who had abortions as underage girls without their parents’ notification. From across Washington and Oregon these women testified to the fact that they been advised by abortion clinic counselors to not tell their parents and that their baby was not a baby but only cells. They went for years suffering from these lies. One woman said “I wish I had told my mother. I’m pro-choice, but I believe parents should be notified before their daughter has an abortion.”
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Overall the hearing was a tremendous success for supporters of a parent’s right to be directly involved in their underage daughters decisions. Afterwards there was a debriefing in which Senators Padden and Roach encouraged the energized group of supporters and answered their questions. They were left with the realization that they are the beginnings of a movement in Washington State to motivated to continue the good fight of defending their values in Olympia and across the state.
Let your state legislators know your thoughts on the subject. You are encouraged to contact them through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000, or email them here.