In Indiana, any girl under 18 who wants to get an abortion must currently have their parent’s consent. The minor, however, has the ability to go to a judge and ask for “judicial bypass.” Those who are granted a judicial bypass are then exempt from the parental consent requirement and allowed to go ahead and get an abortion. Shockingly, as of now, they can do this without their parents ever being notified.
Fortunately, lawmakers in the state are pushing to change the law so that parents of minors who ask for a judicial bypass are notified of their child’s intent to abort their child. Specifically, the Indiana House of Representatives voted 75-23 earlier this week to pass Indiana Senate Bill 404 (SB 404). If it’s ultimately signed into law, SB 404 would require that minors’ parents be notified of their intent to have an abortion if they try to do so without their consent.
Unsurprisingly, SB 404 has received a massive amount of support from countless pro-life activists, including Sue Swayze Liebel, the Vice President of Public Affairs for Indiana Right to Life. “Senate Bill 404 strengthens parental consent provisions already on the books if their minor daughter seeks an abortion,” stated Liebel while speaking about the pro-life bill.
“Parents and legal guardians have a right to be involved in major decisions affecting their child’s health and future,” she continued, adding, “SB 404 does not prohibit trusted adults from sharing information about abortion, parenting or adoption Rather, it ensures parents are involved in the life-changing decision when their minor daughter seeks an abortion.”
In addition to ensuring that “parents are involved in the life-changing decision when their minor daughter seeks an abortion,” proponents of SB 404 argue that requiring parental notification will help better protect young girls from abusive situations. They also claim it’ll help keep young girls from making hasty decisions that they may later regret.
But opponents of the legislation worry that notifying parents could actually “result in more child abuse” if the parent is abusive and becomes angry that their child tried to undermine their authority. Their concern, however, isn’t actually something to be worried about. This is because, in the legislation, there’s a provision that allows for exceptions to be made in extreme cases if “the judge decides it is in the girl’s best interest not to notify her parents.”
Thankfully, SB 404 isn’t the only piece of pro-life legislation to be recently passed by state lawmakers. Earlier this month, for instance, the Pennsylvania House Health Committee approved Senate Bill 3 (SB 3), which is a piece of pro-life legislation that prohibits doctors from performing dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions.
According to reports, a D&E abortion, otherwise known as a “dismemberment abortion,” is a barbaric second-trimester abortion technique that essentially involves using medical forceps to rip fetuses, sometimes limb from limb, out of their mothers. In addition to banning dismemberment abortions, SB 3 would also ban abortions after twenty weeks.
A similar piece of pro-life legislation was also passed by a few months ago by members of the United States House of Representatives, who voted 237-189 in favor of the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” It’s a historic pro-life bill that prohibits an “abortion from being performed if the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater.”
Surprisingly, in addition to overwhelming support from Republicans, it also received a bit of Democratic support from several lawmakers, who couldn’t help but turn their backs on their party because they understand the value of life, as well.
Specifically, the bill, otherwise known as H.R. 36, was supported by Reps. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), who was a co-sponsor, Collin Peterson (D-MN), who also co-sponsored the bill, and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). By voting in favor of the legislation, Lipinski, Peterson, and Cuellar showed that opposing abortion is not necessarily a partisan issue.
Requiring that minors’ parents be notified of their intent to have an abortion if they try to do so without their consent is simply common sense. Given that the state’s Governor, Eric Holcomb, is a Republican, he likely understands this and will almost undoubtedly sign SB 404 into law when it reaches his desk.