Abortion parent notification bill now likely to get hearing

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A bill requiring doctors to notify parents before performing an abortion on a minor is now likely to get a hearing after being sidelined for weeks.

Senate Finance Committee members voted Thursday to send AB405 out of their committee and move it into the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Finance Chairman Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, a Republican, had said his committee was unlikely to hear the bill, but Republican health committee Chairman Sen. Joe Hardy is sympathetic to the policy and said he plans to bring it up for discussion next week.

The move comes after bill supporters made several appeals to the finance committee to review the measure, and held a rally in the halls of the Legislature in hopes of bringing it out of limbo. Representatives from anti-abortion groups including Nevada Right to Life said they were upset the issue wasn't getting attention from Republicans, who are typically more supportive of their cause.

"It will not end," Melissa Clement, president of Nevada Right to Life, said at the rally earlier this month. "When the bill dies, I have nothing better to do but tell ... all the hundreds of thousands of people who can't make it today who was in charge, how this didn't happen."

AB405 would require physicians to send a written notification to parents or guardians of a minor seeking an abortion and require a 48-hour wait time before the procedure. Girls could seek an exception through the courts.

Proponents say parents should be involved when their child faces an invasive medical procedure and an emotional crisis. Critics said the requirement would drive girls to dangerous lengths to avoid revealing a pregnancy, and have raised questions about its costs for courts.

"AB405 is a bill that endangers vulnerable young adults in our state," Democratic Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz said in April, before the Republican-controlled Assembly voted to pass the measure along party lines. "It requires and forces them against their will to make a deeply personal and private decision with other people."

The bill has been a hot potato from the beginning. After Republican Assembly Speaker John Hambrick introduced the measure, he and other leaders said they wanted to downgrade the bill into a study that would be completed when the legislative session concludes.

But it was upgraded to a bill again when some members of the Republican Assembly caucus clamored for a public hearing.

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