November 1, 2012 — A Montana ballot measure (LR 120) that would require parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion "will endanger already vulnerable teens," Ryann Milne-Price, a reproductive health counselor in the state, writes in a letter to the editor of Missoulian.
"[N]early all minors seeking abortion care bring a parent or other adult with them to their appointment," Milne-Price writes, adding, "For these patients, LR 120 will simply add red tape to their medical visit."
However, for young women who cannot involve a parent because of violence or abuse, LR 120 "could have dangerous consequences, even with the judicial bypass exception," she continues, noting that a minor seeking a bypass must convince a judge that she should be able to make her own pregnancy decision.
"Forcing her to sit before a judge and answer intrusive questions about her situation adds an unnecessary and intimidating step to an already difficult situation," Milne-Price argues, adding that minors who cannot obtain a judicial bypass or are unaware of the option might "resort to unsafe abortion methods."
Ideally, "no 15-year-old should have to make a pregnancy decision, but let's not make it harder on the women who must, and who must do it without the support of a healthy family unit," she concludes (Milne-Price, Missoulian, 10/31).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.