The Texas Medical Board finalized Texas’ parental consent form last week for women under 18 seeking an abortion, mandating that the form be notarized by a third party. Though the Texas legislature passed the parental consent law in 2005, the Medical Board was responsible for drafting the final version of the form. The parental consent law passed by the legislature did not require the form be notarized. The official consent form will take effect 20 days after it is published in the Texas Register, which is expected to happen in the next two weeks, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Reproductive rights activists opposed the notarization requirement because of the added difficulty that it places on pregnant teens, and because of the lack of privacy involved with notarization. “This is the result of political pressure from other organizations who do not believe a woman or her parents can be trusted with private medical decisions,” said Emily Snooks, spokeswoman of Planned Parenthood of North Texas, about the notarization requirement according the Star-Telegram.