Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
- My name is Daniel McConchie, and I am Vice President of Government Affairs for Americans United for Life, a national public interest law firm with a practice in abortion and bioethics law.
- After thoroughly reviewing LB 690 which mandates parental consent before a minor may obtain an abortion, AUL appreciates this opportunity to testify about the need for this important legislation.
- LB 690 would convert Nebraska’s law requiring parental notification before a minor may obtain an abortion into a law requiring parental consent.
- The purposes behind parental involvement laws are clear – to protect the health and welfare of minors and to foster family unity and protect the rights of parents.
- The United States Supreme Court has acknowledged that “immature minors often lack the ability to make fully informed choices that take into account both immediate and long-range consequences.”
- Further, the medical, emotional, and psychological consequences of abortion are often serious and can be lasting, particularly when the patient is immature.
- Parents usually possess information essential to a physician’s exercise of his or her best medical judgment concerning their daughter. Further, parents who are aware that their daughter has had an abortion may better ensure the best post-abortion medical attention.
- For these reasons, parental involvement laws protect the health and welfare of minors, as well as foster family unity and protect the constitutional rights of parents to rear their children.
- Parental involvement laws also reduce the number of minors that have abortions.
- For example, a 1996 study revealed that “parental involvement laws appear to decrease minors’ demands for abortion by 13 to 25 percent.”
- Further, LB 690 can better protect minors in Nebraska, because parental consent laws are more effective than parental notification laws like the current Nebraska law.
- A 2008 study showed that parental consent laws reduce the minor abortion rate by 18.7 percent, while parental notification laws reduce the abortion rate by about 5 percent.
- Further, parental consent laws better protect the health and welfare of minors by allowing parents to be directly involved in the medical decisions of their minor daughters and to help them make their best personal choices including carrying the child to term and not having abortions.
- Additionally, parental notice laws may be easier for abortion providers to circumvent than parental consent laws. Abortion providers could evade a parental notification law by simply arguing, for example, that a missed notification was the fault of timing or other factors.
- Minors who believe they could intercept a notification letter or other contact might not be deterred by a parental notice law, as opposed to a parental consent law.
- For instance, in an Ohio case, when a 13-year-old who was pregnant with her soccer coach’s baby sought an abortion, the abortion provider “notified” the coach that the child intended to have an abortion, with the alleged belief that she was speaking to the child’s father.
CONCLUSION. LB 690 is carefully drafted to withstand constitutional scrutiny and protect minors facing a monumental decision. LB 690 will help better protect minors in the State of Nebraska from the harms inherent in abortion.
 Michael J. New, The Effect of Parental Involvement Laws on the Incidence of Abortion Among Minors, Insight 16-18 (Sept 24, 2008).
 See Roe v. Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, 878 N.E.2d 1061 (Ohio 2007).