Mich. requires abortion consent Foes seek to blunt impact of legislation

September 13, 1990|By ASSOCIATED

LANSING, MICHIGAN — LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Abortion-rights activists acknowledg it won't be easy overturning the legislature's speedy passage of a veto-proof bill requiring girls under 18 to get a parent's consent for an abortion.

Yesterday's action was the second major victory for anti-abortion forces in Michigan in as many years. In 1988, voters overwhelmingly approved a ban on state-funded abortions for the poor.

The final vote barely had been counted before abortion-rights leaders were talking about trying to repeal the measure or blunt its impact.

The Fund for the Feminist Majority planned to announce today an emergency campaign against it. Liberal Democratic activist Zolton Ferency already has a legal challenge pending in state court.

Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, said his group also may sue. "We've got to use all available legal challenges to protect civil rights, including reproductive rights," he said.

Simon said the measure has "serious predictable social consequences," among them more teen-age suicides and pregnancies, more delayed abortions, more teen-age mothers on welfare and more low birth-weight babies.

The measure requires unmarried girls 17 and younger to have permission from a parent or a judge to get an abortion. It will become law around April 1, 90 days after the legislative session ends in December.

The legislature approved an identical bill earlier this year, but Democratic Gov. James Blanchard vetoed it. Right To Life of Michigan then gathered about 330,000 signatures to put it back before the legislature, which took less than five hours to approve it yesterday. The Senate approved it 28-9 and the House 61-40.

Because the bill began with a petition drive, Blanchard, under the state constitution, can't veto it.

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