Since 1973 when the Supreme Court handed down its decisions Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, states have also maintained their own abortion laws. After many hours of debate, on July 8, 2015 the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 3994 (“HB 3994”) on a 93-46 vote and Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill. On January 1, 2016, HB 3994 went into effect. This bill is a bill amending judicial bypass that makes it harder for minors to get an abortion through the courts. This bill also requires all women to have a government-issued form of identification to seek abortion services. HB 3994 caused changes to the law that could be detrimental to the safety, privacy and health of minors. HB 3994 amends existing law regarding the notice and informed consent of abortions. (Family Code §33.002.) Physicians are required to assume that a pregnant woman is a minor unless she presents a valid government I.D. showing she is an adult. This raises the following questions: Are minors really protected when their identity is compromised? Is it possible that if authorities are notified and an abuser is the father that the minor will be in more danger than before? Does the identification requirement limit access to young girls who in most cases not have a state issued identification? What role has the State of Texas played in abandoning federal requirements? Former Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry stated that one of his goals as governor was to “make abortion, at any stage, a thing of the past.” (Fernandez). Does this type of rhetoric from state leadership raise concerns from its residents? Especially in the case should Roe be overturned, abortion although not abolished, would be returned to the jurisdiction of the states...
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...the key change that is needed is to allow minors to seek an abortion after counseling and if the parent is aware, then parent involvement. The law requires the attorney and parent/guardian to report under the guidance of the judge, several options so that the adults assisting the minor can ensure that she is kept safe. Changes to abuse reporting requirements could cause bottleneck issues in the child protective services arena which already has a heavy caseload. However, if they are not involved it could endanger abused teens who may have otherwise had their protection. Requiring law enforcement and agency investigation will also expose these girls to invasion of privacy. In this instance, a minor may not seek help if she identifies the abuser and in turn fears for her overall safety and that of her loved ones.
In conclusion, the judicial bypass law was designed to
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