Parental Consent for Abortion – Legal

An Ohio law requiring parental consent for abortions for girls under 18 years old, passed seven years ago, but held in limbo due to court challenges, has been affirmed as constitutional and enforceable by the US District Court in Cincinnati.

There is an exception, where a judge can give the consent in lieu of a parent.

The law also requires women to meet with a doctor 24 hours prior to an abortion so the doctor can tell the woman about the procedure, the risks and alternatives available.

The ACLU filed suit to stop the law one month before it was due to go into effect.

According to the AP:

“Plaintiffs’ evidence does not demonstrate that H.B. 421 imposes undue burdens on the abortion right even when viewed in a highly deferential manner,” said the opinion by Judge Sandra Beckwith, though she said the law might prevent some women or girls from getting abortions.

The ACLU has not yet decided if it will appeal, attorney Carrie Davis said.

Most states have laws requiring either parental consent or notice. In Ohio, minors had already been required by state law to notify their parents but they had not been required to obtain a parent’s consent.

The federal court ruling means the new law is now in effect unless a higher court orders it suspended during an appeal, said Kim Norris, spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro.

As a parent, I have to give my consent for my daughter to be given an acetominophen tablet at school. I should certainly have to give my consent for a surgical procedure.

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