by Rep. Al Baldasaro
Governor John Lynch promised to sign the repeal of parental notification rights (House Bill184) which House Democrats are trying to fast-track through the legislature. Lynch and his legislative allies claim to support parental rights and argue that they only seek to fix perceived problems; however, instead of fixing any problems, they are seeking to scrap the current parental notification law without offering any alternatives or fixes.
The question remains: Who should be responsible for minor children? The parents? The state? Abortion providers? Or should minor children just decide for themselves?
If minor children should decide for themselves, why is it illegal for them to drink when they are under 18? Why can’t 13 year olds get their ears pierced without parental permission? Why do school nurses require parental permission to hand out an aspirin?
Enacted in 2003, though never put into effect, the parental notification law requires a parent to be notified before a child under the ageof 18 can have an abortion — an invasive, surgical procedure.
In February, immediately following the marathon public hearing on House Bill 184, the spokesman for the governor contented the current law fails to protect the health and safety of all women and concluded by confirming that the governor will sign this if the bill reaches his desk.
But this bill isn’t about all women. It is about girls under the age of 18. Girls who already need a parental permission slip to get an aspirin from a school nurse.
Though claiming to support a health exception, the Governor chose to ignore a proposed amendment that would fix the alleged “problems” in the existing law by adding an exception for a “medical emergency.”
The amendment, drafted by a Republican, would define the emergency as any situation in which immediate abortion would be required to prevent “serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of major bodily function.” The language of the amendment has already been upheld in courts around the country, yet the Governor and other Democrat leaders refuse to even consider it.
Democrats and stalwart abortion advocates Terie Norelli, Speaker of the House and Senate President Sylvia Larsen, are working hard to quickly funnel this bill through the system.
While many less-significant bills are referred to sub-committee for further consideration, HB 184 was not. Instead, it was hurriedly scheduled for an executive session with the Judiciary committee where it was voted “Ought to Pass.” No amendment was considered or added.
Democrat leaders have demonstrated that they do not think a bill repealing a parent’s right to know is deserving of careful application of common sensible thought, never mind judicious scrutiny.
Outraged parents throughout the state have begun contacting their legislators and writing letters to the editor. The question is whether the ground swell of disagreement will reach the ears of Lynch who has taken steps to run for a third term. How many voters can he offend and win again?
Tell the Governor that HB 184 is not a Pro Life or Pro Choice issue, that it is a Parental Rights issue.