It seems like common sense that parents should be notified when their underage daughter has an abortion, but in some states, it still isn’t law.
Missouri state Rep. Rocky Miller, a Republican, is sponsoring a new bill that would strengthen the state’s parental notification law by requiring that both parents of a girl under 18 years old to be notified prior to her having an abortion, according to Ozarks First news.
“People define that as an abortion bill,” Miller said. “I truly define it as a parental rights bill. As a father, I want to know what medical procedures are going to be performed on my minor child. It doesn’t have approval on it. I just want to know and I think many, many parents want to know.”
Currently in Missouri, one parent with custody must approve of an abortion for a minor, according to the report. However, the state law also allows a judicial bypass provision where the minor can ask a judge not to require parental consent.
Miller’s bill would allow exemptions when a non-custodial parent has been convicted of specific crimes, the report states.
It has met some opposition from Democrats. State Rep. Stacey Newman said the bill was designed to shame a minor and put them in danger.
Miller responded that the purpose of the bill is simply “to notify the other parent if they deserved to be notified of when their child was going to have an abortion.”
These common-sense laws have been very effective in reducing abortion rates across the country. A 2011 study by Michael New, Ph.D. at the University of Alabama found that parental involvement laws reduce in-state abortion rates for minors by approximately 15 percent.
Parental involvement laws also have wide support. According to a 2009 Pew Research Poll, “Even among those who say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, 71percent favor requiring parental consent” for minors getting abortions.
ACTION: Contact the Missouri legislature at https://www.moga.mo.gov/ to support the bill.