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New Jersey Parental Notification for Pregnancy Medical Treatment Amendment (2014)

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The New Jersey Parental Notification for Pregnancy Medical Treatment Amendment did not make the November 4, 2014 ballot in New Jersey as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would have allowed the legislature to require parental or legal guardian notification before an unemancipated minor or incompetent child underwent any medical or surgical procedure or treatment relating to pregnancy. Two identical versions were sponsored in both houses of the legislature: Senate Concurrent Resolution 25 and Assembly Concurrent Resolution 48. Both would have amended Article I of the New Jersey Constitution by adding a new paragraph to it: paragraph 23.[1][2]

Background

In 1999, the legislature enacted the Parental Notification for Abortion Act. In the case Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey v. Farmer, the New Jersey Supreme Court found the act unconstitutional. Part of the court's decision rested on constitutional language the court deemed "incorporates within its terms the right of privacy and its concomitant rights, including a woman's right to make certain fundamental choices." The court ruled that the 1999 act unconstitutionally differentiated between minors seeking abortions and those seeking medical and surgical care of their pregnancies. The measure language of both SCR 25 and ACR 48 specify that it was the intent of this amendment to overturn this court ruling.[1][2]

Text of measure

If the measure had been placed on the ballot in its introduced form, it would have appeared as follows:[1][2]

NJ2014 ACR 48 SCR 25.PNG[3]

Constitutional changes

The measure would have amended Article I of the New Jersey Constitution by adding a new paragraph to it. It would have read as follows:[1][2]

23. The Legislature may provide that a parent or legal guardian shall receive notice before his or her unemancipated minor or incompetent child undergoes any medical or surgical procedure or treatment relating to pregnancy, irrespective of any right or interest otherwise provided in this Constitution.[3]


Support

The following assembly members and senators were sponsors and cosponsors of ACR 48 and SCR 25, respectively.

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the New Jersey Constitution

In New Jersey, proposed constitutional amendments have two ways of achieving ballot access. The New Jersey Legislature can either qualify it with supermajority approval of 60 percent in one legislative session or with simple majorities in two successive sessions.

ACR 48 was introduced on January 16, 2014, and referred to the Women and Children Committee.[4] SCR 25 was introduced on January 14, 2014, and referred to the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.[5]

See also

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