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Parental Notification Bill Sent to Wilder

March 6, 1992

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Legislature on Friday approved a bill requiring parental notification for unmarried women under age 18 seeking abortions.

The measure awaited approval by Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, who was elected on a strong abortion rights stand. Wilder said during his 1989 campaign for governor he would sign a parental notification bill if it were properly drafted.

″He made that indication long ago, but he hasn’t said anything recently about it,″ said spokesman Glenn K. Davidson. He said he didn’t know whether Wilder would sign the bill.

Fiona Givens, spokeswoman for the Virginia Society for Human Life, said Wilder ″will get a barrage of mail″ urging him to sign the bill.

Abortion rights advocates said they were optimistic the governor would veto it.

″We have to pull out all the stops,″ said Denise Lee, state coordinator for the National Organization for Women. ″This is a bad piece of legislation. We would urge the governor to not take Virginia backwards.″

The bill requires notification of a parent when an unmarried girl under age 18 seeks an abortion, unless the abortion is medically necessary or the doctor believes the girl might be abused by her parents.

A juvenile judge could rule the girl was mature enough to make her own decision. However, Karen Raschke, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood, said the bill is improperly drawn because it includes no standards for judges to follow and doesn’t require a confidential proceeding.

If the bill is approved, Virginia would join 34 states that have some sort of notification or consent requirement.

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