Arkansas Parental Involvement Enhancement Act (HB 1424)
This law was last updated on Apr 6, 2015
HB 1424 strengthens parental consent requirements for minors seeking an abortion. The law repeals the current Parental Notification Provisions and replaces them with stricter requirements under the new Parental Involvement Enhancement Act.
Under the new provisions, a physician may not perform an abortion on a minor or incompetent woman without notarized, written consent of both the pregnant woman and one of her parents or legal guardian. The notarized consent must contain the following:
- Name and birthdate of the minor or incompetent woman;
- Name of the parent or legal guardian;
- A statement from the parent of guardian that he/she is aware that the minor or incompetent woman desires an abortion and that he/she does consent to the abortion; and
- The date.
The parent or guardian must also provide proof of identification and relationship the the pregnant woman in the form of a government-issued I.D. and written documentation that establishes lawful parentage or guardianship.
Consent is not required if the physician certifies that a medical emergency exists and there is insufficient time to obtain the required consent. If this occurs, the physician would need to notify the parent or guardian within 24 hours of the procedure taking place.
Current law allows a pregnant minor to claim an exemption and waive the consent requirement law if her pregnancy is a result of incest, rape or sexual abuse. HB 1424 removes this exemption.
Under HB 1424 the pregnant minor may petition a court in the county in which she resides for a waiver of the consent requirement. If the court finds that she is sufficiently mature and well-informed they may issue an order authorizing an abortion without parental consent. If the court finds that the pregnant woman is a victim of physical or sexual abuse by a parent or guardian and obtaining consent may not be in her best interest, the court may issue an order authorizing an abortion.
In assessing the pregnant minor’s experience level, the court may consider the following factors:
- Her age;
- Her experiences working outside the home;
- Her experiences living away from home;
- Her experiences traveling on her own;
- Her experiences handling personal finances;
- Her experiences making other significant decisions; and
- Other relevant factors as appropriate.
Abortion providers are required to provide the following information to the Department of Health for each induced termination of pregnancy:
- Whether parental consent was required;
- Whether parental consent was obtained; and
- Whether a judicial waiver was obtained.
Enrolled. HB 1424 is now Act 934.