Teen abortions: Lawmakers consider mandating parental notification

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

abortionOLYMPIA — Should parents be notified if their underage daughter wants an abortion?

Lawmakers in Olympia heard from both sides of the heated issue Wednesday at a state Senate Law & Justice Committee hearing Wednesday on a bill that would require parental notification if a child under 18 wants an abortion.

The legislation would not mandate parental consent. A minor could still undergo the procedure.

Supporters say bringing parents in the loop is important.

“For a teenager, a child, a 12-year-old, a 13-year-old, a 14-year-old to voluntarily go in and have a medical procedure without discussing it with one or both of their parents is absolutely ridiculous,” said state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, chief sponsor of the bill. “In this state we require parental authorization to get a pierced ear.”

Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, is a strong opponent of mandatory notification.

“The issue of reproductive health is a private issue,” she said.  “It has been ruled so by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Keiser worries about young girls who are afraid to talk with their parents.

“There have been cases, many cases, where a young woman has revealed even that she’s pregnant, much less that she wants to have an abortion, has been evicted from her family, dropped on the street corner somewhere, has been beaten, and, unfortunately, has been sometimes killed,” she said.

Benton said those exceptions are accounted for in the law by allowing a minor to go before a judge for notification instead of parents. Moreover, he pointed out that parental retribution is a crime.

“Everything they talk about is already illegal — rape, abuse, etc.,” he said.  “This doesn’t make them easier to perpetrate.”

Currently, 40 states have parental notification and/or consent laws when it comes to abortion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


  • guest

    yes i if a parent as a parent would like to know my child is getting any kind of medical care before the age of 18 AS i'am reasonable til the age of 18

  • j unger

    Its totally preposterous not to have the parent involved in any decision making.
    The abortion clinics would rater not have parents involved, they look at pregnant young women as cash cows.

  • j unger

    Sen. Karen Keiser, maybe when young kids get in trouble with the law, we should not let the parents know about this as well, because I'm sure there have been cases where they have been evicted from their family, dropped on the street corner somewhere, or have been beaten, and, perhaps even sometimes killed.

  • Samanthav28

    So what happens if something goes wrong and that 12 year old child ends up hemorrhaging due to a small nick in the uterain wall? Will parents be notified then? And are they still responsible for all the bills and possibly the funeral costs that comes with a situation like that. And that's just one of many other important questions/details that should be addressed. At what cost do we keep things a secert? It rains on the just and unjust alike.

  • Taxpayer

    As a parent of teenagers, I would be furious…as a former teenager that had sex when they shouldn't have, I can agree. I do know those whose abortions did not go well and they had to be taken in for treatment for hemorrhaging…tough call. While I do not personally believe in abortion for myself, I would agree that many, many times abortion is a much better choice for the teen and the general taxpayer. If my child came to me, I would support them regardless, although I have to say that I have seen how difficult life is as a teen parent and would honestly lean toward it now, which I never thought possible.