Should minors get parental consent for abortions? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Should minors get parental consent for abortions?

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Testimony was presented on Tuesday night on the Parental Consent for Abortion Act, and there's considerable support for the legislation and growing frustration over the inaction on similar abortion measures currently before the legislature. Parents like Marie Mafnas support Bill 323, which would require a female minor to first obtain parental consent before getting an abortion.

"In the absence of parental guidance and consent, minor children are vulnerable. Personally, I would like to be there for my daughter to guide her in making the right decision," she said.

Currently an abortion can be administered to a female minor without parental consent.  Bill 323 however would require that unless the minor is emancipated, no abortions can be performed without a notarized written consent of both the pregnant woman and one of her parents or legal guardians.  If the patient is a victim of physical or sexual abuse at the hands of a parent, then she can obtain consent from an adult sibling, a step parent or grandparent.

While he couldn't attend the hearing, even Governor Eddie Calvo expressed his support for the measure. "It is yet another legal encouragement of abortion. It has to stop," said Telo Taitague, the governor's special assistant for external affairs. She read Calvo's testimony, which questioned why there are arguments against the legislation. "As it stands, a 17-year-old can enter a surgical center and, without parental consent, be denied plastic surgery, dental extractions, removal of ovarian cysts, or the tying of fallopian tubes. Yet she can obtain a far-more dangerous abortion without parental consent. That defies logic."

The governor, who submitted a pair of pro-life bills earlier this year, also expressed his frustration with the Legislature's inaction on the Unborn Child Protection Act and the Women's Reproductive Health Information Act. said Taitague, "Senators, every day that goes by without action on these measures is a day when the life of a child could have been saved. I call on the Committee on Rules to move this legislation through for the December session."

Although the record normally stays open ten days after the public hearing, Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz says written testimony on the measure may be submitted until December 10.

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