Relaymedia

Parental Notification for Abortion Goes Before the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court will argue a case on parental notification for minors seeking an abortion that can potentially affect how state legislatures rule over the divisive issue.
( [email protected] ) Nov 28, 2005 08:59 PM EST

The U.S. Supreme Court will argue a case on parental notification for minors seeking an abortion that can potentially affect how state legislatures rule over the divisive issue.

On Wed., the high court will hear arguments from both sides on whether to reinstate a law in New Hampshire that was struck down in 2003. The law required the doctor to notify a parent or a guardian of a minor, in person or through certified mail, within 48 hours of the termination. If failed to do so, doctors would face civil and criminal charges.

Before the law could be implemented, Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides women and teens with access to abortions, sued New Hampshire arguing that the law's requirements made no exceptions for minors with medical emergencies.

The New Hampshire federal appeals court in Boston ruled that the law was unconstitutional since it didn't allow doctors to bypass the parental notification or waive the waiting period for minors who face health risks because of their pregnancy.

In a legal precedent, abortion rights advocates said that if the high court upholds the New Hampshire law on Wed., it would affect the laws of states that already restrict abortions or have yet to implement such notifications.

The U.S.-based Concerned Woman for America (CWA), a Christian coalition of conservative women said that Planned Parenthood's arguments are "without medical merit" adding that a parent's involvement is in the best interest of the minor.

"Parents have their daughter's best interest at heart, [they] know her medical history and are critical for follow-up care, especially when a girl suffers complications from an abortion," Wendy Wright, CWA's executive vice president said today in a statement released by CWA.

According to a recent poll, conducted by CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, it found that 69% of 1,006 adults favored parental consent before a minor goes through with an abortion. Even though the majority of participants opposed a constitutional ban on abortion, over three-fourths favored tighter restrictions.

In the first abortion case in over five years, Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, will be heard by the Supreme Court this Wednesday, Nov. 30.