Parental consent bill 1 of 4 abortion bills before state

Published 1:46 am Saturday, March 1, 2014

A bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Jones (R-Andalusia) is being billed as one of four anti-abortion bills making their way through the legislature.

But Jones said Friday he thinks of the bill more as a parental consent bill.

“I researched U.S. Supreme Court law and Alabama case law before bringing this, and ended up with substitute bill in committee because we had done more research,” he said. “The gist of it now is that parental consent is required (for a minor to get an abortion). However, no one has to prove he or she is the parent. The current law just says you have to sign something, not necessarily something saying you are the parent. The law has no teeth, and no penalty.”

An obvious example of a need for this case, he said, is when a 40-year-old boyfriend takes his 14-year-old girlfriend to get an abortion and says, ‘I’m her daddy.’

“In that case, if we don’t ask him to prove that, the state has a role in the furtherance of a crime, because that’s statutory rape,” Jones said. “What we want to do is protect children and young mothers.”

His bill, he said, would ask parents granting permission for their daughter to have an abortion to do something they have done countless times before – handing the provider a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

“It just verifies that she is your child, and you are who you say you are,” he said. “I was asked if that presented a burden, but I say, ‘No. That’s normal.’

“We do that for everything,” he said. “Everybody requires it.”

Birth certificates are part of the registration process for youth sports, he said, adding it’s not too much to ask before performing an abortion.

His proposed legislation also sets up a process by which a minor can go to juvenile court and request permission for a court order, under special circumstances, to not require parental consent.

The other three bills being packaged with this one:

• Would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion after the fetus’ heartbeat is detected.

• Change the waiting period from the time a woman sees a doctor and gets an abortion from 24 to 48 hours.

• Provide women seeking an abortion based on lethal anomaly information on hospice for the child should she carry it to term.