(March 13, 2017) – The Parent’s Right to Know Bill, HB 2002/SB 424, would allow parents and appropriate law enforcement authorities to protect our children by requiring abortionists to notify parents of their minor child’s pending abortion and exposing sexual abuse. The 1984 law currently on the books allows for a second doctor to sign off on an underage girl’s abortion so that her parents don’t have to know.

Supporters turned out en masse at the Capitol for the noon rally where they heard remarks from Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Secretary of State Mac Warner, State Auditor John McCuskey, and Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt as well as dozens of pro-life Senators and Delegates. The crowd was treated to a surprise visit from U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins from West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District.

A stack of Parent’s Right to Know petitions were presented to Senate President Mitch Carmichael and House Speaker Tim Armstead. Both pro-life leaders spoke briefly.

House Lead Sponsor of HB 2002 is Delegate Kayla Kessinger. Cosponsors include Delegates Arvon, Butler, Allen Evans, Fast, Frich, Lane, Paynter, Roger Romine, Rowan, and Wilson. Meanwhile, the Senate Lead Sponsor of companion bill SB 424 is Senator Patricia Rucker. Cosponsors include Senators Azinger, Blair, Boley, Boso, Clements, Cline, Ferns, Gaunch, Hall, Karnes, Mann, Maroney, Maynard, Mullins, Ojeda, Prezioso, Smith, Swope, Sypolt, Takubo, Trump, Unger, and Weld.

“I find it unbelievable that some people actually suggest that we leave the loophole in the Parent’s Right to Know law. This loophole allows teen daughters to have secret abortions, hiding the crimes of sexual abuse, and sending them back – unprotected – into the same environment. It’s despicable,” said Karen Cross, Legislative Coordinator for WVFL. “We can protect our daughters with a simple change to the law.”

“We ask our legislators to support the passage of HB 2002. Parental involvement laws have been incredibly successful in 30 states across the nation. These laws have not only reduced adolescent abortion rates in the given states from 13 to 19 percent but have also reduced adolescent pregnancy rates,” added West Virginians for Life President Wanda Franz. “These laws protect adolescents from the numerous health problems known to affect them as a result of having abortions.”

The bill is double-referenced in both the House and the Senate, first going to the Health Committee and then Judiciary. WVFL encourages constituents to contact their legislators in support of the bill.

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