House Bill 80 requires parental consent before a minor under the age of 18 can receive an abortion in Delaware, beefing up the current law which only requires parental notification.
Sponsored by Rep. Greg Lavelle (R-Sharpley), the bill was introduced at Legislative Hall in Dover Tuesday. A measure that could reduce abortions by as much as 15 percent, according to one study.
“I think many people believe that because Delaware has a parental notification law on the books that consent is required before an abortion can be performed on a minor. That is factually incorrect. Delaware requires a parent to be notified, but it stops there. No consent is needed and I think that needs to be changed,” Rep. Lavelle stated.
The legislation comes as Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortion doctor, who also practiced in Wilmington, faces multiple murder charges in Pennsylvania in connection with the reported death of one woman, as well as the late-term abortion deaths of seven newborn babies. One of the newborn deaths at Dr. Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic reportedly involved a 17-year-old mother whose abortion procedure began at the Wilmington facility.
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit organization that provides nonpartisan information on things like abortion, Delaware has the highest per capita abortion rate in the United States, with anywhere from 25 to 45 percent of Delaware abortions performed on women traveling from out of state. State leaders believe many of these girls and women are traveling from Pennsylvania to Delaware, in order to evade parental consent laws in their home state.
“In 2009, Delaware enacted legislation (Senate Bill 90) requiring anyone under the age of 18 to get a parent’s consent before they could use a tanning facility… If parents should be required to provide their consent to their child using a tanning bed, should we not also require their consent for abortions,” questioned Rep. Lavelle.