Utah Passes Parental Consent Abortion Law

Young women under the age of 18 in Utah will now have to get permission from a parent before obtaining an abortion, and although the consent requirement can be waived in some circumstances, parental notification cannot be. Exemptions can be granted by a judge in cases of abuse, incest, estrangement, or to protect the life or health of the young woman; however, such cases would still require that the “non-abusive” parent be notified. Utah previously required the notification of at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor.

Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) signed the bill on Thursday, and it will take effect on May 6. Abortion rights supporters expressed shock at the measure, and Planned Parenthood of Utah director Karrie Galloway told the Salt Lake Tribune, “The state should be embarrassed rather than proud. We didn’t deal at all with teen safety and health in this.” Galloway also expressed concerns that placing such onerous requirements on teens could lead them to seek out more dangerous means to end a pregnancy.

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LA Times 3/17/06; Salt Lake Tribune 3/17/06

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