Parental Consent Laws to be Safeguarded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:Rachel Schlater
DATE: Friday, March 4, 2011 PHONE:(614) 547-0099 ext. 309
(COLUMBUS, OH) - Earlier this week, the Ohio House Health and Aging Committee voted to stand with Ohio Right to Life and protect parental rights and parental notification laws for minors seeking an abortion. By a 14 to 7 vote, the House Committee passed H.B. 63, a bill to revise the process of judicial bypass under Ohio's Parental Consent for Abortion statute.
Though Ohio law currently requires parental consent before a minor can obtain an abortion, a loophole exists which allows judges to by-pass parental involvement and allow a minor to obtain an abortion. H.B. 63, which is sponsored by Rep. Ron Young (R-Leroy) and Rep. Lynn Slaby (R-Copley), addresses the fact that some judges are giving virtual "rubber-stamp" approval to these minor's requests.
In a 2008 Columbus Dispatch article on bypass hearings, one Franklin County judge indicated that she had never denied a bypass request and another judge stated that she had denied only one request. A 2003 Akron Beacon Journal survey found a bypass approval rate of either 86% or 92% (the latter when a county that lumped voluntary dismissals with denials was excluded).
"We are pleased that the Committee has recognized that abortion can have serious life-changing effects on a young girl," said Mike Gonidakis, Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life. "H.B. 63 requires that, before cutting a girl's parents out of the abortion decision, a judge must make sure that the girl understands the possible negative effects of abortion. It would also require the judge to determine whether the girl's testimony really reflected her maturity or the 'coaching' of others," Gonidakis said.
The continued and overwhelming support of Ohio Right to Life's initiatives demonstrates the impact that responsible and compassionate pro-life policies can have. Protecting women and the unborn continues to unite our elected officials and saves lives.
H.B. 63 now moves forward for a full vote by the Ohio House of Representatives.
Ohio Right to Life urges our members to encourage our elected officials to pass other pro-life legislation to include H.B. 78, the late term abortion ban and H.B. 79, the opt-out of abortion coverage legislation. Click here to find the members of the Ohio House Committee on Health and Aging and thank them for their support.