Maine Legislature Rejects Parental Consent Measure

May 20, 2013 — A Maine legislative committee on Friday rejected a bill (LD 1193) that would require the written consent of a parent or legal guardian before a minor or incapacitated individual could obtain an abortion, the Bangor Daily News reports.

The bill and two other abortion-related measures drew more than six hours of public testimony on Thursday. On Friday, seven of the committee's eight Democrats voted against recommending the bills, after giving them little discussion. Four of the panel's five Republicans supported the measures (Cousins, Bangor Daily News, 5/18).

The bill -- introduced by state Rep. Stacey Guerin (R) on behalf of its primary sponsor, state Rep. Paul Davis (R) -- would mandate that women who could not meet the requirement would have to demonstrate to a judge that they are sufficiently mature and knowledgeable about the procedure or that they experienced abuse, neglect or sexual assault (Cousins, Bangor Daily News, 5/16).

Guerin said the bill ensures that minors are "afforded our full counsel and advice before making a life-altering decision" (Leigh, WLBZ2, 5/16).

Ruth Lockhart, executive director of the Mabel Wadsworth Women's Health Care Center, said the bill "will only make it harder for our most vulnerable teenagers to get the care they need" (Bangor Daily News, 5/16).