Texas Bill Amending Parental Notification Law (SB 1564)
This law was last updated on Mar 27, 2015
SB 1564 would amend Texas’s parental notification law (Texas Family Code § 33.001) to prohibit a physician from performing an abortion on a minor without providing written notice to the minor’s parent or guardian, who must provide proof of parentage or guardianship. (Texas law already requires notification to a parent or guardian.)
The law would prohibit a physician from performing or attempting to perform an abortion on any pregnant woman unless the physician has (1) obtained positive proof of age that the woman is a not a minor; or (2) obtained a certified copy of the court order proving that the woman is an emancipated minor.
SB 1564 states that 48 hours must have elapsed since the time written notice was personally delivered by the physician who is to perform the abortion to the last known address of the minor’s parent or guardian. It also states that 48 hours must have elapsed since the physician who is to perform the abortion sent written notice of the physician’s intent to perform an abortion on an unemancipated minor to the last known address of the minor’s parent or guardian by certified mail.
The bill states that before performing the abortion, the physician must certify in writing that the required notice was provided to the minor’s parent or guardian.
SB 1564 also states that in cases of medical emergency, the physician may perform the abortion but must provide verbal notice to the unemancipated minor’s parent or guardian that the procedure was performed and the basis of the medical emergency within two hours. The physician must also send written notice to the last known address of the minor’s parent or guardian.
Judicial Bypass Procedure
The bill would also amend judicial bypass regulations.
The bill would require a minor to file a petition for judicial bypass in the minor’s county of residence. Current law permits the minor to file in any county.
The bill would remove the provision deeming an petition automatically granted if the judge doesn’t issue a ruling within the specified time period.
The bill changes the evidentiary standard for a judge deciding whether or not to a minor is sufficiently mature to have an abortion without parental consent or notification from “preponderance of the evidence” to “clear and convincing evidence.”
The bill would also add a section prohibiting a minor who has already obtained a determination by the court that she may not waive parental consent or notification from refiling a petition to institute a new proceeding.
The law would require judges and physicians who suspect that a minor has been physically or sexually abused by a person responsible for the minor’s care to report that abuse to the Department of Family and Protective Services and to law enforcement.
The law contains extensive affidavit and certification requirements, as well as record-keeping requirements and civil penalties.
Companion to HB 2531.
Similar to HB 3302, which failed to pass in 2013.