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Restrictions to Privacy and Abortion

By Heather MacGibbon Subscribe to RSS | December 5th 2011 | Views:

Parental Consent is back on the books as of January 1, 2012 in New Hampshire where Republican lawmakers successful overrode the Democratic Governor John Lynch’s rejections Wednesday June 22, 2011. The House Veto, 266 to 102, means that teens will now be required to have a parent’s approval for an abortion procedure - or go before a judge.

“The legislation would require health care providers to notify parents of females under age 18 who seek an abortion. Providers would be subject to a misdemeanor charge for performing an abortion in violation of the law, which requires 48 hours of notice in person or by certified mail,” with limited exceptions for risk to the life of the mother.

This law will mainly effect at risk teen by requiring them to get consent from parents who may be abusive. Statistically, over half the teens seeking abortions seek the advice and support of parents.

“However, many among the 40% whose parents do not know about their pregnancy report they would experience physical violence or abuse if their parents knew. For these teens, mandating parental involvement can have serious and damaging consequences.”

In New Hampshire a similar law was declared unconstitutional in 2003 but with changes in political power from Demarcates to Republicans anti choice groups hope to re establish this law. Currently 20 states have parental consent laws. Twelve states require parental notification. Six states require both notification and consent of at least one parent. Six other states have parental involvement laws, which are currently not enforced because they are being contested in the courts. Six states currently have no laws on the books addressing this subject.

In combination with renewed interest in parental consent, Senator Marco Rubio, R- Fla., and Senator Orin Hatch, R –Utah, introduced a new bill into the US Senate this week that will make it illegal to transport a minor across state lines to evade parent consent laws in her how state. This law would help support states like New Hampshire in their attempts to control women’s access and the privacy of women’s decisions. This national law, like parent consent laws, would have dire consequences for abortion providers.

“CIANA (The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act) allows for punishment, in the form of fines or imprisonment, of physicians who knowingly perform an abortion on a minor who has traveled across state lines and any individual who transported the minor across state lines.”

Laws that base fines and / or imprisonment of medical practitioners on what knowledge they had threaten and discourages doctors from performing abortions. This makes access to abortion services less available to all women. Not just teens from other states.

Also, this type of law does not take into consideration that some patients are forced to travel out of state because their area does not have safe and legal abortion providers. This is especially true for women who have complicating factors with their pregnancies and require specialized treatment.

Further complicating these issues, access to abortion care is becoming more and more limited in certain areas. Kansas is a case in point this month. Laws changing the inspection standards for abortion providers may close the last three providers offices in Kansas making it the first state with no abortion access. The Kansas Department of Health has until July, 2011 to decide whether to reissue licenses to these three clinics, including Planned Parenthood.

Heather MacGibbon - About Author:
For more details, visit ParkMed NYC

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