As Nebraska joins the growing number of states requiring notarized written permission for a minor’s abortion, Notaries in the Cornhusker state now face the challenge of remaining impartial has they handle these sensitive transactions.
Arizona and Texas have similar laws requiring notarized parental consent for abortions, though Arizona’s law has been challenged in court. Other states, including North Carolina and Maine, are considering bills this year that add a notarization requirement to abortion consent forms.
Abortion issues can be a sensitive topic. As stated in Article II-D-1 of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility, Notaries must be careful not to let their position on any sensitive issue affect their decision to refuse or agree to notarize a document. Nor should they attempt to influence a signer’s decisions based on the Notary’s personal feelings, as long as the notarization request is lawful and meets all the requirements to be notarized.
Governor Dave Heineman signed LB 690 in May, which prohibits abortions without the written and notarized consent of a parent or guardian, except in the case of a medical emergency or abuse. In parental abuse cases, consent must be signed and notarized by a grandparent or stepparent designated by the minor or a judge.