OLYMPIA… Sen. Mike Padden says the Senate Law and Justice Committee will have a public hearing on a bill that would require a girl’s parent or guardian to be notified before she can have an abortion.
Padden, R-Spokane Valley, is among the 18 sponsors of Senate Bill 5156, which was introduced Monday but is not yet scheduled for a hearing. He said it’s a proposal that has support from parents regardless of their views on abortion.
“If your daughter became pregnant and was considering an abortion, wouldn’t you want to know far enough ahead of time to talk with her about it or get ready to care for her afterward? This bill wouldn’t prohibit an underage girl from having an abortion, but it would make sure a parent or guardian has the chance to have that conversation, to provide that care,” Padden said.
Padden shared results from a recent statewide poll commissioned by Human Life of Washington, conducted by Moore Information. Of those responding, 65 percent were in favor when asked about a proposal along the lines of SB 5156, requiring “parents be notified” before a girl under age 18 could have an abortion; 25 percent were opposed and 9 percent were undecided. Padden said the “strongly favor” percentage greatly outweighed the “strongly oppose” group.
The measure that will come before Padden’s committee would require that one parent or guardian receive 48 hours’ actual notice from the person intending to provide the abortion.
“When you consider an underage girl can’t legally get a tattoo in our state, with or without a parent’s permission, yet can have access to an abortion without the parent even knowing, it puts things into perspective,” Padden said.
In 1995, as chairman of the law and justice committee in the House of Representatives, Padden co-sponsored and held a public hearing on a similar bill; it went on to receive House approval but did not receive a hearing in the Senate.
In 1998 the Senate approved a parental-notification bill; it also received committee approval in the House but was not brought to a full House vote.