CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a bill that makes it more difficult for minors to obtain permission for an abortion.
Ohio law already requires either parental permission or court order for any woman under 18 to legally obtain an abortion.
The new law signed late on Friday would require a judge to, “hear evidence relating to the emotional development, maturity, intellect, and understanding of the minor.” Judges will also have to ask if the minor understands the consequences and alternatives to the abortion.
The law has already come under fire from Ohio abortion rights groups, chiding the governor for signing the bill late on Friday so it might go unnoticed.
“This bill ignores the fact that there are circumstances, such as a violent home, where telling her parents is not a safe option for some minor women,” Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said in a statement.
Ohio judges will also be required to ask minors if anyone “instructed” them on how to answer the court’s questions.
Ten abortion-related bills have been introduced and are working their way through the Ohio House and Senate.
Editing by Greg McCune