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Bill Requiring Parental Notification For Abortions Passes Assembly

The Nevada Assembly has approved a measure requiring parental notification before a minor can receive an abortion. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that lawmakers passed AB 405 in a 24-17 party-line vote on Friday.

The bill would require physicians to send written notification to the parents or guardians of a minor seeking an abortion. It also requires a 48-hour wait time before the procedure.

At a hearing earlier this month in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, Reno resident Desiree Davis testified in support of the bill. Her younger sister had multiple abortions while in high school.

"My sister was scared, alone, and felt like she had no other choice. If we had known, things we be dramatically different and my sister would have been spared a lifelong battle of pain and guilt."

Kathleen England, a lawyer in Las Vegas, opposed the bill, saying that not all parents would offer the support needed by a young woman in such a difficult situation.

"We cannot legislate that people be good parents. We can't legislate that they have great relationships with their children."

On Friday, Democratic lawmakers also opposed the measure, saying girls could go to desperate lengths to keep their parents from knowing about an abortion.

The proposal would allow some exceptions in the case of medical emergencies and it offers a confidential appeal process so pregnant teens can go through with the procedure without parent or guardian notification.

The measure now moves to the Senate.

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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