Del. Rejects Parental Consent Bill

May 12, 2011 — Delaware lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a bill (HB 80) that would require consent from at least one parent before a teen younger than age 18 could receive an abortion, unless there is a medical emergency, the AP/MSNBC reports.

Current law requires that abortion providers provide parental notification at least 24 hours prior to the procedure for a minor younger than age 16. A girl who does not want her parents to be notified must convince a judge that it is in her best interest or that she is mature and informed enough to make the decision on her own.

Opponents of the bill, sponsored by House Minority Leader Greg Lavelle, said the notification law is working and the consent bill would not have provided safeguards for minors in cases of rape or incest. They also noted that the bill would have eliminated the ability of a minor to consult with a mental health professional if she was afraid to notify her parents (Chase, AP/MSNBC, 5/12).