Nevada GOP Revives Forced Parental Notification Bill

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Nevada GOP Revives Forced Parental Notification Bill

Teddy Wilson

A Nevada forced parental notification bill unexpectedly cleared a legislative hurdle Thursday and appears set for a committee hearing next week.

A Nevada forced parental notification bill unexpectedly cleared a legislative hurdle Thursday, and appears set for a committee hearing next week.

AB 405, sponsored by Assemblyman John Hambrick (R-Las Vegas), would require physicians to send a written notification to parents or guardians of a minor seeking an abortion before they can start the procedure. The physician would have to wait an additional 48 hours after the notification has been sent before performing the abortion.

The bill includes exceptions if the physician certifies that there is a medical emergency that requires an immediate abortion; a parent or guardian certifies that they have already been notified; or a court has been given judicial authorization to waive the notification.

After being passed by the Nevada Assembly, the Senate Finance Committee blocked the anti-choice bill, appearing to shelve it until the 2017 legislative session. However, that committee revived the bill after anti-choice activists reportedly lobbied lawmakers to reconsider, according to the Las Vegas-Review Journal.

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Republicans hold a slim 11-10 majority in the Nevada senate, and enjoy an eight-seat edge in the house.

The Senate Finance Committee voted to pass the bill along party lines, and referred it to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Committee Chairman Sen. Joe Hardy (R-Boulder City) said that he plans to hold a hearing on the bill next week, reports the Associated Press.

Melissa Clement, president of Nevada Right to Life, blamed GOP friendly fire for the bill’s initial legislative roadblocks. Clement claims she was told by Republican officials that the bill would cost the state $2 million, however, it is expected to cost $71,000 over two years.

“Republicans are giving us problems,” said Clement, the Las Vegas Sun reports. “There is no reason why this shouldn’t pass.”

Republican legislators nationwide have introduced forced parental notification measures this year, including in New Mexico, where Democrats blocked the bill in committee before it reached the full senate.

Nevada Right to Life was behind organizing the lobbying efforts, reports the Associated Press. The organization has called the bill their “top priority.”

During the floor debate in the assembly, pro-choice opponents of the forced consent bill argued that the legislation unnecessarily increases barriers to abortion care access.

“AB 405 is a bill that endangers vulnerable young adults in our state,” said Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz (D), reports the Associated Press. “It requires and forces them against their will to make a deeply personal and private decision with other people.”

If approved in committee, the bill will head to the full senate.

The Nevada legislature begins its last week of the 2015 legislative session after the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The deadline for the legislature to adjourn is midnight on June 1.