Concord—In a formal letter to the House Judiciary committee today, House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (Salem) expressed strong support for HB 329, requiring parental notification before abortions may be performed on unemancipated minors.
“We believe that it was a gross injustice to families across our state when the Democrats repealed this law in 2007, rather than working to fix it,” wrote Bettencourt. “In doing so they gave the State of New Hampshire the shameful distinction of being the first and only state to repeal a parental notification law.”
Parental notification was a key point in their legislative agenda announced by House Republicans in January. “This is not a debate about a social issue. One of the problems facing society today is the lack of parental involvement on many levels. Young girls who cannot so much as be given an aspirin by the school nurse without parental permission must have their parents involved in such a crucial medical procedure, especially when it involves the long term physical and mental health of their child,” Bettencourt added.
The committee held a public hearing today at the Legislative Office Building in Concord. House Republicans have expressed a willingness to work with the committee to craft parental notification legislation that would address the exception for medical emergencies. “I can assure you that the Republican Caucus will support a constitutionally viable parental notification bill so that parents have the right to know what is going on in the lives of their children,” Bettencourt concluded.
Restoring parental notification was listed under Personal Rights and Responsibility in the House Republican Agenda.