NRL News

Oklahoma House Committee votes in favor of parental involvement law

by | Feb 13, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Back at the end of January, NRL News Today ran a column headlined, “Let’s assure that parental involvement laws save the most babies possible.”  Written by Mary Spaulding Balch, JD, director of NRLC’s Department of State Legislation, it raised a very important question. Which is likely to save more unborn children: a parental consent law with the judicial bypass (which the U. S. Supreme Court requires in the case of consent) or a parental notice law with no judicial bypass?

In a period of approximately four and one half years, there were 3,573 judicial petitions to bypass parents in one state with a parental consent law. Only nine were denied. It is very legitimate to ask if more lives would have been saved if all of these thousands of parental notifications had been provided with no bypass. 

Yesterday, the Oklahoma House Public Health Committee voted 7-3  for a bill requiring that a parent of a minor must be notified before an abortion can be performed on her. If after that discussion, she wants to go ahead with the abortion, she must have the consent of a parent or go to a judge to secure a  judicial bypass.

“The judicial bypass process has become a rubber stamp for judges who, many times, have been identified by the abortion industry,” Tony Lauinger, State Chairman of Oklahomans for Life, told NRL News Today. “A young girl needs the guidance and the support of a parent at a time of crisis in her life.” Mr. Lauinger is also Executive Vice-President of the National Right to Life Committee.

Spaulding Balch agreed with Lauinger’s assessment of the impact on judicial bypasses, adding, “The bypass serves no useful function and merely undermines the object of parental consent laws by ensuring that virtually any minor who doesn’t want to tell her parents won’t have to do so,” she told NRL News Today.

If the law requires that minor girls inform their parents, Spaulding Balch concluded, “I am convinced that the minor will make wiser decisions.”

Please join those who are following me on Twitter at Please send your comments to

Categories: Legislation