Oklahoma Passes Harsh Parental Consent Bill, While Louisiana Teens Can Turn Parents in for Abuse


Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law a bill that will make accessing an abortion much more difficult for teens, even with parental consent. Meanwhile, in Louisiana, a new bill would make it possible to charge parents with child abuse for trying to “coerce” daughters out of carrying pregnancies to term.

Fallin’s signature on HB 1361 wasn’t much in doubt, based on the governor’s past support of abortion restrictions. Minors seeking an abortion in the state now must have the consent of a parent or guardian who has a valid ID and provides a signing, notarized consent form, or the minors may seek a judicial bypass, but the bill stipulates that they can only do so in the county in which they reside. If the judge in that county will not authorize the bypass, teens are left with no safe, legal option.

In Louisiana, lawmakers are considering making it a crime to “coerce” a teen into an abortion, defining such coercion as child abuse. The bill also expands the definition of coercion to include threats of “deprivation of food and shelter.”

The addition of “threats of deprivation” is reminiscent of the February case of a pregnant Texas teen whose parents were accused of trying to coerce her into an abortion by taking away her cell phone and car until she agreed to terminate the pregnancy. The teen testified that they attempted to “make her miserable so that she would give in to the coercion and have the abortion.” The parents denied the allegations, but a judge ruled that the parents must return the car to allow her to get to work and school and pay half of the hospital bills when she gave birth unless she got married in the following months.
While most people would agree that no one, including parents, should threaten a teen into an unwanted abortion, the new language could set the stage for more court challenges in which parents and their children are pitted against each other amid disagreements about what constitutes “threat of deprivation.” Meanwhile, just a short ways away in Oklahoma, a parent who wants to support the decision of a teen who wants an abortion will find it increasingly difficult to do so.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/hausofwaft Eric BlueWilson

    Aren’t your Pro Choice arguments centered around the mother’s right to choose? Isn’t it then safe to say that you would be in support of a law allowing the mother to choose? How can you justify being against a law saying that parents of a teenager can’t force that teenager into an abortion? The right to choose contains the right to choose life right? I’m Pro Life and I support the law in Louisiana, but it doesn’t mean that therfor someone who is pro choice should be against it. The law should also be supported by Pro Choice considering it’s a law giving the mother the choice instead of the parents of the mother. Otherwise what you’re really supporting isn’t pro choice, it’s pro choice to abort. By that logic I could say I’m pro choice and only support the choice for life. Its hypocritical.