Voters in the US state of Alaska have approved a new law which requires abortion providers to notify parents before they can perform an abortion on girls aged 17 and under.
The move stands in stark contrast to the UK where abortion providers are under no such obligation.
The Alaskan law means that doctors will be responsible for contacting the parents or guardians of girls under the age of 18 before they can perform an abortion.
And while parents will not be able to stop the procedure, if they refuse to give permission there will be a 48-hour waiting period before the procedure can be performed.
Roger Schwietz, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Anchorage, welcomed the initiative.
He said: “I was happy to see that common sense prevailed. Parents, no matter where they are on the abortion issue, understood: to be a parent is to be a parent.
“You have responsibility for your children and therefore you should be able to know what they’re doing, and not have other people take away the right to know.”
The new law is expected to come in force in the middle of December.
Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, and the pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union both opposed the new law.
In addition to Alaska there are currently 34 states in the US which require either parental notification or consent before girls under the age of 18 can undergo an abortion.
Earlier this year new statistics released by the NHS revealed that during 2009 there were a staggering 195,743 abortions performed in England and Wales, with a further 13,005 terminations performed in Scotland.
In England and Wales over a thousand abortions were performed on girls under the age of 15, and a further 39,020 abortions were performed on girls resident in England and Wales, aged between 15 and 19.
And in Scotland there were 3,214 abortions on teenagers aged 19 and under.
Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, commented: “It is not ignorance of contraception that leads to alarming rates of teenage abortions.
“The contraceptive culture has made girls feel they have a right to have babies to order and to do away with any that would interfere with their chosen lifestyle.”