The day after a Virginia Assembly Education and Health Committee dropped a bill requiring parental notification of an abortion given to a minor, Gov. George Allen sent the Virginia Senate a very similar bill Tuesday. Acting on behalf of Allen, Sen. Mark L. Earley (R-Chesapeake) introduced the bill and asked the Rules Committee to send it to the Courts of Justice Committee in order to avoid the health committee, which has routinely killed such legislation. Supporters are optimistic that the panel will clear the bill for a vote in the full Senate, and that it has a good chance for approval once there. The bill would continue onto the House of Delegates, which has approved a similar bill.
Abortion rights advocates say that the new bill could harm girls fearing retribution from their parents. The legislation could become the most significant win for antiabortion forces in Virginia since abortion was legalized in 1973. Twenty-nine states already have laws requiring parental consent or notification when a teenager seeks an abortion.