A Senate committee approved a bill that requires parents and guardians to be notified if their child tries to seek an abortion – without exceptions, even in cases of rape and incest.
Indiana abortion law requires a child under age 18 to receive parental consent for an abortion. If the child doesn’t want to inform her parents, she can go to court to receive a judicial waiver.
A proposed bill would require the parents be notified of that judicial proceeding, no matter what – meaning, as one lawmaker pointed out, if a father rapes his underage daughter, and she wants an abortion, she’d have to notify her father first.
Jane Glynn is an Indianapolis attorney who’s represented girls in those judicial hearings. She says notifying parents could have serious consequences.
“Which means that these girls are going to be forced out while they’re pregnant, without any resources, without shelter – they may become homeless,” Glynn says.
But Indiana Right to Life attorney Corinne Purvis says parents have the right to be involved in the process.
“Then they have the opportunity to be heard and present evidence to the court. And who’s better to testify to the competency of the child than the parent,” Purvis says.
Committee leaders acknowledge issues with the bill that they say will be fixed on the Senate floor.