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Parental Notification Debated In Olympia

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The debate over abortion once again filled a hearing room in Olympia Wednesday. Washington senators heard testimony for and against a bill that would require 48-hour notice to a parent or guardian before a girl under 18 receives an abortion.

Republican Sen. Don Benton argued in favor of the requirement.

“This bill is not trying to stop abortions," he said. "What this bill is about, and let’s be very clear about it, is notifying parents of their children’s activities before they engage in them.”

Tiffany Hankins from Seattle testified against the measure. She said the notification requirement would cause teenagers who can’t trust their parents to find alternative solutions.

“We now have a thing called the Internet that one can turn to and find terrible advice, and I don’t think we want our teens healthcare decisions to be made by rumor.”

Currently, 38 states require that parents are notified before a girl receives an abortion. It’s unclear whether this bill will get to the Senate floor in Olympia. Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom has said he does not want abortion-related measures to divide the Republican-dominated majority coalition.

On the Web:

SB 5156: Parental notification bill (Washington Legislature)