The process for an underage girl to get parental consent for an abortion is being amended through House Bill 63 and Senate Bill 8.
These bills state trial courts have to be sure there is a legitimate reason for the patient not to inform the parent, Ohio Representative Lynn Slaby said.
“It is important these bills pass because without standards at the trial court and juvenile court level, appellate courts cannot review what the trial courts decided,” Slaby said.
The bill has already been approved through the House and is now going through approval in the Senate, Slaby said.
“This bill will provide these standards to determine if the child fully understands the consequences of the procedure she is asking for, without undue influence,” Slaby said.
Rachel Barga, President of the Students for Life organization at Miami University, supports this bill because of its protection of women’s safety.
“It’s crucial not even in terms of the anti-abortion movement, but in terms that a child should be aware of the complications and symptoms of this invasive surgery,” Barga said.
Slaby said the bill is strictly for Ohio residents.
“The bill significantly addresses when a teenager does not want parental consent because there is a process that already exists federally not to notify parents. This bill clarifies in Ohio,” Slaby said.
First-year student Katherine Holt identifies herself as an abortion rights supporter and feels the bill would be a positive change.
“A child who chooses to undergo the procedure should know the importance of her decision, and unless she has very important reasoning, parents should be notified,” Holt said.
Slaby said the bill will be supported differently depending on whether or not someone is anti-abortion or abortion rights supporters.
“Typically, those that are abortion rights supporters see it as being restrictive, where those that are anti-abortion see it as clarifying,” Slaby said.
Though the bill is still waiting to be passed in the Senate, Slaby hopes to see it go into effect in four to five months.
The Senate first needs to pass the bill and any changes need to be sent back to the House. From there, the governor obtains the bill and it falls into a 90-day waiting period, Slaby said.
Representative Slaby was the co-sponsor of this bill, however, there are two other bills like it in Congress, he said.
Barga hopes to see this bill be passed and see it go into effect as soon as possible.
“If a child is under 18 they need consent to get their ears pierced, it should be the same for abortion,” she said.