West Virginia House backs abortion notification change

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia House has voted to revise the legal requirement to notify parents of an underage daughter’s abortion.

Under the current law, a physician other than the doctor performing the procedure can waive the requirement by finding the minor is mature enough to decide independently or that notification wouldn’t be in her best interest.

Under the proposed amendment unanimously approved Tuesday, a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist would have to make that determination.

The juvenile or her doctor could also seek a court waiver to keep from notifying parents.

At a recent hearing, advocates of physician waivers said they were used only four times in 2015, when 48 minors in West Virginia had abortions.

They said waivers are needed especially to protect girls raped in abusive and violent households.

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