Parental Notification Moves Forward in Nebraska, Is Rejected in Delaware


Nebraska has never met an abortion regulation it didn’t love, so the fact that a parental consent law is working its way through the unicameral should come as no surprise to anyone.

Via the Lincoln Journal Star:

The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee advanced a bill for debate Wednesday that would require parental consent for a minor’s abortion.

The bill (LB690), by Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft, would require parents to consent to a minor’s abortion, rather than just be notified.

The bill would require notarized written consent from a pregnant woman younger than 18 and one of her parents or a legal guardian before obtaining an abortion. It also would allow exceptions.

Some of the exceptions include letting a grandparent give consent if the teen is in an abusive relationship at home, meaning she would still have to inform some family member about the situation in order to obtain an abortion.  Also, to encourage the teen to carry to term they will allow her to be declared an emancipated minor and get public assistance if she refuses to get an abortion if her family tells her she should.

In other words, the parents get to overrule the pregnant teen if she wants an abortion, but the teen’s opinion matters more if she wants to give birth.

In Delaware, perhaps in recognition of how faulty the logic is behind telling a teen she needs parental permission not to have a baby but can decide to give birth all on her own, the state has rejected a similar bill.

WBOC16 reports:

A bill requiring girls under the age of 18 in Delaware to obtain the consent of a parent before getting an abortion failed to clear a House committee on Wednesday.

State law currently requires that an abortion provider give notice at least 24 hours in advance to a parent, grandparent, legal guardian or licensed mental health professional before performing an abortion on a girl under the age of 16. The law allows a girl to waive the notification requirement by explaining in writing to a judge that she is mature and well-informed enough to make the decision on her own, or that it is in her best interest that notification not be made.

The bill sponsored by House Minority Leader Greg Lavelle would replace the parental notification requirement for girls under 16 with a requirement that any girl under the age of 18 obtain parental consent before obtaining an abortion.

“This is all about parents being involved in medical decisions involving their minor children,” said Lavelle, R-Wilmington.

Delaware’s parental notification rule, which is still currently enforced, provides other outlets for teens who are in abusive home situations who do not feel safe informing their parents.

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