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Catholic Church Calls for Changes in CT Abortion Laws
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An increase in the number of abortions is pushing a Catholic advocacy group to call for a bill that would require minors to notify an adult before undergoing an abortion. WNPR's Marie Kuhn reports.

The Connecticut department of Public Health says there's been a 14 percent increase in abortions among girls under 16 years of age in the last two years. Abortions performed on minors 12 years old or younger, has more than doubled since 2002.

The Connecticut Catholic Conference says a parental notification law would prevent out-of-state minors from receiving abortions in Connecticut, which does not have a strict parental notification requirement.

The proposed law would also require a pregnant girl to receive counseling from an abortion provider if she is 17 or younger, up from the current age of 16.

Michael Culhane is the executive director of the Catholic Conference.

If you have a minor -- a teenage girl -- who wishes to go to a tanning salon, who wishes to get her ears pierced, who needs medications at school, these are situations which require parental consent. But a minor teenage girl could leave school and go down and have an abortion in the afternoon with no parental consent required.

And Culhane says the proposed law wouldn't even go as far as requiring parental consent, only notification.  But Jillian Gilchrest, executive Director of NARAL Pro Choice Connecticut says such a law  could delay services, putting young girls at risk.

Gilchrest says the greater issue is a lack of sex education, which isn't currently regulated in Connecticut.

Instead of just going to the issue of abortion and parental notification, why not step back and actually work on educating young people about safe choices.

Gilchrest says abstinence-only sex education is not effective, and that NARAL is pushing for age appropriate, comprehensive, and medically accurate sex education in public schools. 


Related Links:

Connecticut Catholic Conference

NARAL Pro Choice Connecticut

CT Department of Public Health