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Nev. Senate Panel Hears Parental Notification Bill

May 27, 2015 — The Nevada Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Monday held a hearing on a bill (AB 405) that would mandate that physicians inform a minor's parent before performing an abortion, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports (Snyder, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 5/25).

Bill Details

The bill, sponsored by state Assembly Speaker John Hambrick (R), would require a physician to notify parents of a minor's desire to have an abortion via a written notice delivered personally or by certified mail. Notification would have to be provided 48 hours prior to the procedure.

It would not apply to parents whose parental rights have been terminated or when the minor is experiencing a medical emergency, although the measure does not consider an emotional crisis as a medical emergency. In addition, minors could petition a court for an exemption to the notification requirement (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/21).

Bill Prospects

State Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chair Joe Hardy (R) said he favors the measure but that he will not present it for a floor vote until he has support for it to pass (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 5/25).

The Nevada Assembly passed the measure in April. The bill was then referred to the state Senate Finance Committee, but committee Chair Ben Kieckhefer (R) at the time said the bill likely would not receive a hearing (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/21). However, according to the AP/Chronicle, the bill last week was revived and scheduled for a hearing.

If the bill becomes law, Nevada would be the 39th state to implement either a parental consent or notification requirement for abortion, according to a Guttmacher Institute report.

Latest Debate

During debate, state Assembly member Ira Hansen (R) said the bill would help make state parental involvement laws consistent.

Separately, state Sen. Pat Spearman (D) said the bill could harm minors in abusive family relationships. She added, "What is it about the law that we have that stops them from telling a parent?"

Meanwhile, according to the AP/Chronicle, other opponents have said the notification requirement could result in minors taking drastic measures to conceal an abortion (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 5/25).