Planned Parenthood Sues to Overturn Parental Notification on Abortion

State   Steven Ertelt   May 31, 2013   |   12:40PM    Helena, MT

The Planned Parenthood abortion business has always been against allowing parents to be notified when their minor daughter is considering an abortion.

While parents will be left to pick up the pieces for their teenagers who face medical or mental health problems following an abortion, Planned Parenthood prefers that parents not know when their grandchild may become a victim of abortion.

The abortion business is proving this again by filing a lawsuit in Montana to overturn new parental involvement guidelines.

Last November, Montana voters approved a ballot measure that would allow parents to know when their minor daughter is considering an abortion. The Treasure State has not been able to support parental rights due to a state Supreme Court decision and this measure responded to it.

There are 37 states that require parental notification or permission before a minor can get an abortion. Montana was one of just 13 states without this common-sense policy. However, 70 percent of voters in the state approved Legislative Referendum 120, which takes a step toward solving this problem. LR-120 would require an abortion practitioner to notify a parent of a girl younger than age 16 before performing an abortion.

But Planned Parenthood of Montana filed suit Thursday to overturn a pair of laws requiring an under-age girl to get parental approval or notification before having an abortion in Montana. From a local news report:

Planned Parenthood, which performs abortions in Montana, said the laws violate Montanans’ right to privacy and unconstitutionally discriminates against girls who would choose to have an abortion.

The lawsuit filed in state District Court in Helena targets two recently passed laws:

· One passed by Montana voters in 2012 requiring any girl under 16 to notify a parent before obtaining an abortion. The law, passed as a referendum placed on the ballot by the 2011 Legislature, took effect in January. It passed with 70.5 percent of the voters in favor.

· A bill passed by the 2013 Legislature that would supersede the current law, requiring all girls under 18 to get notarized parental consent before having an abortion. The law is scheduled to take effect July 1.

The suit asked District Judge Mike Menahan to block enforcement of the second law as of July 1 and void both of them as unconstitutional.

Attorney General Tim Fox, a Republican, said through a spokesman that he’ll “defend these laws vigorously at every stage of the process.”

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“Montana’s voters and duly elected representatives have made it very clear they want the parental notification and consent laws on the books,” said John Barnes, spokesman for Fox.

Rep. Jerry Bennett, R-Libby, who sponsored the bills leading to both laws, said Thursday that Montana voters and a majority of the Legislature simply feel that parents should have to be notified or give their approval before their under-age child can have an abortion.

“You can’t get your ears pierced, you can’t play high school sports, you can’t get any (other) medical procedure … without parental consent, let alone notification,” he said. “There are limits to privacy for our children.”

Jeff Laszloffy, a former state legislator who is the head of the Montana Family Foundation, strongly supported the measure.

“In Montana, a teenager younger than age 18 can’t get a tattoo or a body piercing without a parent’s permission. Yet most people are stunned to learn that a girl of any age – even 12 or 13 – can be taken for an abortion without her parents even knowing about it. This is totally legal under current Montana law,” he said. “Why is this important? Think about this: Most schools won’t even give a child an aspirin without a parent’s approval. That is because parents know their child’s medical history, and as a society we hold parents responsible for protecting their children’s health.”

“Abortion is obviously much more serious than getting an aspirin. It typically means invasive surgery, or the administration of powerful drugs. Complications can and do occur, such as hemorrhaging and infections. If a girl experiences complications after an abortion, how prepared will her parents be to provide follow-up care, if they’re completely in the dark that an abortion has occurred?” he added.

Laszloffy continued: “Opponents of Referendum 120 – led by Planned Parenthood – continue to repeat arguments that have long ago been discredited. On the one hand, they say the law is not needed, because 95 percent of minors already involve their parents in the abortion decision. However, they never back up these claims with factual studies. The few scientific studies that have been done on this question usually estimate that the real number is between 50 percent and 60 percent. Yet even these studies are flawed, because they rely on the self-reporting of teens seeking abortions, not on interviews with their parents. The studies don’t account for the possibility that a scared teen in a very stressful situation might not actually tell the truth. When a similar law was passed in Alaska in 2010, abortions on minors dropped by 23 percent in the first year. It makes you wonder if all of the abortions being performed on minors are even being reported.”