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Citizen Staff Writer

Abortion act would further harm abused

HB 2564, the “Abortion Consent Act” by Rep. Nancy Barto of Phoenix, has passed the House but has not yet been considered in the Senate.

This is bad policy for many reasons, most of which have been thoroughly discussed.

But one deserves more attention: the need for a minor to obtain parental consent or a judicial bypass for an abortion.

Requiring a parent’s approval sounds like good policy, as does the requirement to get a judge’s permission in rare cases. This puts a major burden of proof on the shoulders of a young minor.

Consider this scenario: A father or stepfather impregnates a minor and refuses to allow an abortion. It would be right and proper for this young girl to petition the court for a bypass.

Under Barto’s HB 2564, however, a judge can consider whether the minor has lived away from home. This may seem a reasonable way to judge a minor’s maturity, but on closer inspection it shows a complete misunderstanding of the dynamics of sexual abuse.

A sexual victim who is also a minor may actually identify with – and be dependent upon – the perpetrator. Or she may simply be too afraid to take action. In either case, the minor may not try to leave the home.

To ask a judge to consider that factor in such a case sends the wrong message to the judicial proceedings.

I voted against this provision last year when I was in the House. As a result, when I ran for the state Senate in 2008, I was accused of favoring abortions for 11- or 12-year-olds.

It wasn’t true, but that’s politics. Politics didn’t stop me then and it won’t stop me now in speaking out against bad policy. HB 2564 is bad policy.

Pete Hershberger

District 26 state representative for eight years

Termination bill rules: Ex-judge explains why

As a retired Superior Court judge who had occasion, years ago, to preside over “parental consent, judicial bypass” hearings, I recommend that HB 2564 be enacted for several reasons.

First, the bill defines several critical terms that existing statutes do not define, including “abortion” and “unborn child.”

This enhanced legislative guidance will be of substantial benefit to judges in their efforts to interpret and apply the law.

These definitions will help ensure that judges are not left with the unenviable, and often difficult, task of trying to “divine” legislative intent.

Second, this bill requires that parental consent be not only written, as presently required, but also notarized. This closes a loophole in the current statute.

Significantly, the bill goes on to state that the notarized statement of parental consent will be kept confidential and will not become a matter of public record.

Third, the bill ensures that judges will not be left to speculate about the standard of proof in these cases. The bill plainly states that a minor seeking judicial bypass must establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that she is “sufficiently mature and capable of giving informed consent without consulting her parent or legal guardian based on her experience level, perspective and judgment.”

The bill then lists a number of factors judges are permitted to consider in evaluating a minor’s experience level, perspective and judgment. As presently written, the law gives judges no guidance in these critical respects.

Dave Cole

retired judge

Arizona Superior Court

Photo radar captures big bucks w/little effort

Re: Mark Kimble’s Thursday column (“Photo radar’s unfairness, not green, making opponents see red”):

This is a revenue-producing trick, big bucks for little manpower. It is not a deterrent to crime and accidents but a way to channel more money into government coffers.

Banning cell phone use in vehicles reduces accidents, but it’s too profitable to the legislators’ re-election funds to pass that!

Next they will be monitoring sexual activity, drinking and smoking. The police state has arrived, and “you don’t get it.”


Game & Fish stubborn about horse, burro info

I was dismayed to read the April 14 letter by Gary Hovatter, assistant director of the Arizona Game & Fish Department, defending their exclusion of Julianne French’s wild horse and burro booth at the recent Outdoor Expo.

I would think Game & Fish would welcome citizen participation instead of declining due to their narrow definition of wildlife.

Many years ago, I spent summer weekends camping and boating at Saguaro Lake near the Superstition Mountains. We all enjoyed seeing – and hearing – the wild burros at the lake. What a rich part of our state’s history the wild horses and burros are!

Thank you to Julianne French for bringing their story to all of us – and a “Bad Sport” award to Game & Fish.

Linda Willmore

Reader rocks the boat over story placement

In your April 13 edition: Why did you put an article about buying cigars on the front page? There was a happy article about the sea captain saved by the U.S. Navy buried on Page 8.

The faces of the men smoking cigars were not happy, but the faces on the sea captain and the Navy captain were much better.

Those smoking were probably trying to get a good breath.

Marilyn Savage

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

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