Mont. Parental Notification Measure Would Endanger Teens, Opinion Piece Argues

October 26, 2012 — Montana voters "must take the time to carefully consider just what is at stake" with a state ballot initiative (LR 120) that would require parental notification before minors can obtain abortion care, writes Stacey Anderson, director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood of Montana, in a Missoulian opinion piece.

Ninety-five percent of teens who obtain abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics in the state involve their parents in their decision, Anderson writes. However, "there will always be a few teens who find themselves in situations where they can't go to their parents," she writes, adding that the initiative would place them "in harm's way."

In addition, Anderson notes that the measure in "rare circumstances" would require Planned Parenthood workers "to notify an abusive parent before we could assess whether law enforcement should be alerted."

She continues, "It's important that teens facing an unintended pregnancy have access to counseling and safe medical care if they can't talk to a trusted parent" (Anderson, Missoulian, 10/12).