Legislators in West Virginia and Arizona have proposed measures requiring minors to obtain parental consent before seeking an abortion. There is currently a parental notification law in West Virginia that provides an exception for minors who obtain a judicial bypass. The new legislation, proposed by Delegate Barbara Warner, would require minors to have parental permission for the abortion, with an exception only in cases of life-threatening injuries or rape. Warner has also proposed limiting the advice doctors can give to patients seeking abortion.
Senator Ken Bennett introduced a similar parental consent bill in Arizona last week. Arizona Representative Karen Johnson proposed another bill restricting access to abortion by requiring a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. Parental notification and consent laws endanger the lives and health of young women who desperately want abortions but fear telling a parent, and turn to dangerous “back alley” abortions.