Mar 27

MS Senate’s Sneak Attack on Teens, Families

Planned Parenthood writes:

Last week, we defeated the Child Protection Act (which was really a teen endangerment act) in the House, and now the Senate has put the language from that bill in as an amendment on another bill – HB 520.

HB 520 punishes parents for having trusting relationships with their teens and pits family members against each other. The possibility of family members suing each other because one tried to help a teen relative access safe health care could tear Mississippi families apart.

HB 520 creates an unconstitutional burden on teens. Minors without parental involvement may well have to go to court to obtain judicial waivers of two states’ laws: Mississippi’s and the state’s where they are obtaining an abortion, requiring the minor to go through two legal procedures in two states’ courts. This will delay minors’ abortions, creating unconstitutional burdens on their right to privacy and their right to travel interstate to seek medical care.

HB 520 infringes on First Amendment rights. The bill could inhibit the provision of factual information to minors about the services provided by out of state health centers as providing such information potentially could be viewed as “assisting” or “aiding” a minor to obtain an out of state abortion.

By traveling to a neighboring state, Mississippi teens are not evading parental consent requirements. In fact, every state surrounding Mississippi already has a parental consent law with which women seeking an abortion must comply.

HB 520 completely ignores geographic and economic realities. Out of state travel is often the simplest and least financially burdensome way for women to obtain needed medical services.

The mandatory reporting requirements of HB 520 expands reporting to include instances where teens are involved in normal sexual activity with other teens.

HB 520 removes the ability of health professionals, clergy members, teachers and childcare providers to make judgments as to whether teens are engaging in normal sexual activity and instead mandates that they report a wide range of sexual behaviors.

Please send emails or call:

Rep. Willie Bailey, Judiciary B Committee Chairman, phone: 601-359-1541
Speaker of the House William McCoy, phone: 601-359-3300, and
Your own legislator

Ask them to oppose the mandatory reporting requirements and abortion restrictions in the amendment to HB 520 because they are a threat to the health of Mississippi teens.

Please send your emails or make your calls immediately to help defeat this bill. It could receive a final vote as early as Friday morning (tomorrow) and could be on the Governor’s desk tomorrow if we don’t act now!

Distribute far and wide, please.

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