The Missouri House has passed legislation which would require that both custodial parents be notified when a minor seeks an abortion.
House Bill 1192, sponsored by Representative Rocky Miller of Tuscumbia, was given final approval by the House by a vote of 116-36.
Under current law, a minor is unable to obtain an abortion without the consent of one parent or guardian. The new measure would require that the consenting parent notify the other custodial parent at least five days before the abortion is to be performed.
Representative Miller was motivated to introduce the bill because of a personal experience in his own family. Miller learned years ago that his daughter was considering an abortion while he was separated from his wife. He was distressed to find out that she could have proceeded with the abortion without his knowledge.
“Our daughter made a very courageous decision and decided not to have the abortion,” Representative Miller explained. “Our family was blessed, but I know others are not. I feel it’s only common sense to notify the other custodial parent.”
The new bill does not change a feature of Missouri’s parental consent law that allows a minor to obtain an abortion without parental approval or knowledge.
Known as the judicial bypass, the provision enables a minor to convince a judge that she is either emancipated or mature enough to make a decision to abort her child on her own. Federal courts have required the judicial bypass if parental consent or notification laws are to be upheld.
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If Representative Miller’s bill were to become law, Missouri would be the sixth state to require involvement of both parents in the abortion decision of most minor children.
LifeNews.com Note: Joe Oertwerth writes for the Missouri Family Policy Council.