Earth Notes
8:11 am
Thu March 2, 2006

AZ legislators move to limit teen abortions

Phoenix, AZ – Current law says teens 17 or less have to get parental
consent before terminating a pregnancy. One measure
approved by the House would require that this consent
form be notarized. Rep. Warde Nichols said there's a
good reason for that.

(We've already had situations in Arizona where a
boyfriend has gone in, faxed in a consent form for a
minor. And the parents had no idea that their minor
child was receiving an abortion.)

But Rep. Linda Lopez said the requirement could create
problems.

(Can you imagine what would happen, the devasation this
would cause in this young person's life in a small town
where the notary, who's not required to be confidential
would publicize this information that the minor is
going to have an abortion.)

Nichols countered that Planned Parenthood has its own
notaries. He also said his measure leaves intact laws
that allow a teen to ask a judge to bypass the parental
consent requirement. But House members voted Tuesday to
alter that law to require a teen to prove sufficient
maturity by "clear and convincing evidence,'' a more
difficult burden. And House members take up a separate
bill next week to require parental consent for minors
who want to get birth control pills to keep from
getting pregnant in the first place. In Phoenix, for
Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.