HARTFORD, Connecticut, June 16, 2011 ( – If minors require parental consent to use a tanning bed, shouldn’t they also require it to get an abortion? That was the seemingly commonsense thinking behind a Connecticut senator’s move to amend a bill that was before the state senate – a move that ultimately contributed to the bill’s demise.


Senator Michael McLachlan, a Republican who represents the 24th District of Connecticut, had originally introduced his abortion amendment as a separate bill, according to a News-Times report.

But when his bill died in committee, McLachlan filed it as an amendment to SB 972, a bi-partisan act whose purpose was to protect minors from the health risks associated with tanning beds.

The act would have required parents to accompany their child to the tanning parlor and sign a written permission slip after they had been informed of the risks associated with tanning.

Derek Slap, communications director for the Senate Democrats, told the News-Times that Senator Michael McLachlan’s amendment was “ridiculous”

But in an interview with Dan Lovallo on the Talk of Connecticut, McLachlan responded to Slap’s charge.

“In the state of Connecticut a parent has to give permission to have your ears pierced if you’re a minor child and yet a parent does not have to give permission for an abortion,” he said. “That’s ridiculous.”

McLachlan told Lovallo that although his amendment had not received public attention until this past week, when the bill it was attached to died in the Senate, he had filed it in late April.

Senate Democrats are claiming that McLachlan’s amendment was responsible for killing the tanning bill, since no one wanted to debate abortion in the closing days of the legislative session.

“My amendment sat on the calendar for 42 days,” said McLachlan. “I never heard from one Democrat. Not one member of the Democratic party or the legislature contacted me and said can we talk about this.”

“It was obvious that the leadership of the state Senate did not want to talk about the tanning bill because if they did all they have to do is call it. They have the votes.”

Democrats currently hold 22 of the 36 seats in the Connecticut Senate, leaving only 14 Republicans.

“It’s ludicrous to say that they didn’t call the tanning bill because of an abortion amendment. That’s absurd. They can pass anything they want,” McLachlan added. “Mike McLachlan does not have the power to kill a bill like that. That’s not how it works.”

Previous attempts to require parental consent or notification for an abortion have failed in Connecticut, whose abortion policy is among the most liberal in the nation. The state has codified Roe vs. Wade into law, and permits third trimester abortions.

A parental notification law similar to McLachlan’s was introduced in Connecticut’s House of Representatives this past January but also did not make it out of committee.


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