Missouri Bill Amending Consent for Abortion for a Minor Law (HB 1968)
This law was last updated on Jun 28, 2016
HB 1968 would amend the laws regarding consent for abortion for a minor (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 188.028).
The bill would prohibit a physician from performing an abortion upon a minor without first obtaining the notarized written consent of both the minor and one of her parents or her legal guardian. The bill would also require the physician to obtain from the parent or legal guardian government-issued proof of identity and written documentation that establishes that the parent or legal guardian is the lawful parent or legal guardian of the minor. The physician would be required to keep a copy of the consent and proof of identity in the minor’s medical file for five years past the age of majority of the minor, but in no event less than seven years.
The bill states that unless the minor gives notice of her intent to seek a judicial waiver, the physician may perform a medical emergency abortion but must provide verbal notice to the minor’s parent or guardian that the procedure was performed and the basis of the medical emergency within 24 hours. The bill also states that the physician must send written notice to the last known address of the minor’s parent or guardian by certified mail.
If the minor gives notice to the attending physician of her intent to seek a judicial waiver, the physician would be required to file a notice in court that states that the minor has given the notice, and to provide to the court the information the physician would have been required to provide the parent or legal guardian if the minor had not given notice of her intent to seek a judicial waiver.
The bill would permit a minor to petition a court in the county in which the pregnant minor resides for a waiver of the consent requirement. The bill states that the court must issue an order authorizing an abortion without the consent of a parent or guardian if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that the minor is: (1) both sufficiently mature and well-informed to decide whether to have an abortion; or (2) the victim of physical or sexual abuse by one or both of her parents or legal guardian, or that obtaining the consent of a parent or legal guardian is not in the best interest of the minor.
The bill would require the Department of Health and Senior Services to create a form to be used by physicians to obtain the consent required prior to performing an abortion on a minor who is not emancipated. The bill states that the form must contain a wide variety of information as outlined in the law, much of which is duplicative of the informed consent requirements set forth in Section 188.027 of the Missouri Code. The bill further states that the form must be initialed by both the minor and the parent or legal guardian.
The bill would require that a physician declaration be signed by the physician stating that the physician or the physician’s assistant has explained the procedure and the contents of this form to the minor and her parent or legal guardian, as required, and has answered all questions. In addition, the parent or legal guardian would be required to sign a separate notarized parental consent statement stating that he or she understands the information provided on the form and that he or she has been offered an opportunity to ask questions, among other things.
According to Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri:
Current state law already dictates a strict informed consent process that must be completed in person and 24 hours before any abortion services are provided, regardless of age. Current law also mandates teens under 18 have the consent of one parent before accessing abortion in Missouri. This bill would require the Department of Health and Senior Services to create separate, duplicative, informed consent processes for teens and consenting parents. A woman should have accurate information about all of her options. Information should support a woman, help her make a decision for herself, and enable her to take care of her health and well-being. It should not be provided with the intent of shaming, coercing, or making a woman change her mind. HB81 clearly singles out teens and requires physicians to provide the teen with information intended to coerce and shame her into changing her mind.
Identical to HB 81, which failed to pass in 2015.
Identical to HB 1845, which failed to pass in 2014.