Rodney Tom’s Senate — in their continuing effort to keep social issues off the table — have passed a parental notification bill though the Senate Law & Justice Committee. I realize this isn’t going to become law any time soon. I don’t know if it would even pass the state Senate, and if it did, it wouldn’t get the time of the day in the House and if it somehow managed to get through that, it would be vetoed. But it’s disturbing that it has gotten as far as it has.
Now don’t get me wrong: In an ideal world, minors who need abortions would talk to their parents, but there are reasons why minors wouldn’t tell their parents. And while the law proposed recognizes that in some cases, it’s cruel in the extreme to force a 15 year old trying to abort her father’s child to talk to a superior court judge before she can go forward. There are pregnant girls who have legit reasons to not want to have that conversation: Maybe they’re afraid that they’ll be disowned, or sent to one of those troubled teen camps, for example. Even if you want to push some bullshit narrative about those flighty children today, they are still the ones who would have to carry the child and live with it. In an ideal world a parent should help their children out in that situation.
But we aren’t in an ideal world, and ultimately it isn’t the parent’s decision. If a parent wants to be notified in that situation, they should spend the previous decade and a half or so proving that they’re worth the conversation, not having the state force it.
[h/t to WA NARAL who would like you to write your senator here]