Missouri state lawmakers moved a bill forward this week to strengthen a requirement that parents be informed before their young daughters have an abortion.
House Bill 2127, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Hurst, passed a Missouri House committee this week, Missourinet reports. The bill would stop abuses of the current law by prohibiting anyone from taking a minor across the state lines for an abortion without a parent’s consent. The penalty for violating the law would be a felony.
Currently, Missouri requires a girl under 18 to notify at least one parent prior to having an abortion, but it does not prohibit her or someone else from taking her to other states that do not require parental notification or consent for abortion.
Susan Klein of Missouri Right to Life told the news outlet that the bill could help protect victims of human trafficking.
“On the human trafficking issue, a side effect of that would be that if somebody is getting one of these minor girls pregnant and taking them across state lines, then they are evading law in several different areas,” Klein said.
However, Planned Parenthood and several pro-abortion legislators opposed the measure, claiming it could punish family members and friends for helping a pregnant girl, according to the report.
“This bill is singling out abortion and minors for a major escalation in state law, criminalizing a grandmother, an aunt or trusted adult who’s trying to help a minor who’s facing potential harm due to her pregnancy,” said M’Evie Mead of the Missouri Planned Parenthood affiliate.
The Missouri bill moves to the full state House for consideration.
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Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life, previously has spoken about how these measures help protect vulnerable young girls from abuses.
“Who takes under-aged, pregnant girls across state lines for abortion? Most often, it’s noncustodial, older men who are sexual predators seeking to conceal the crime of statutory rape or other noncustodial adults involved in sex trafficking of minors,” she wrote for LifeNews in 2012.
Abortion facilities are sometimes complicit in these situations. Several times, Planned Parenthood facilities have been caught covering up or failing to report the sexual abuse and abortions of minors. In Ohio, Planned Parenthood faced a lawsuit after it failed to report the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl. The girl’s soccer coach got her pregnant and then took her to the abortion clinic to cover up his crime, LifeNews reported.
Foster also pointed to the testimony of abortionist Bruce Lucero who wrote in the New York Times: “. . . a parent’s input is the best guarantee that a teen-ager will make a decision that is correct for her—be it abortion, adoption or keeping the baby. And it helps guarantee that if a teenager chooses an abortion, she will receive appropriate medical care.”
Polls also show strong support for parental consent and notification laws that require a parent be involved in a minor’s decision to have an abortion. A Gallup poll found 71 percent of Americans favor such laws.