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State Lawmakers Weigh Change in Abortion Notices

West Virginia Legislative Services

West Virginia lawmakers are reconsidering limits on the legal requirement to notify parents of an underage daughter's abortion.

Under the current law, a physician other than the doctor performing the procedure can waive the requirement by finding it's not in her best interest. Under the proposed amendment, juveniles would have to get a court waiver to keep from notifying parents.

At a hearing Monday, the House Judiciary Committee heard advocates of current law say doctor waivers were used only four times in 2015, when 48 minors in West Virginia had abortions.

The American Civil Liberties Union, social workers and former victims say physician waivers are needed especially to protect girls raped in abusive and violent households.

Anti-abortion advocates say secret abortions have lifelong ramifications and don't protect abused girls.

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