Despite the lack of an exception to protect a young woman’s health, the Bush administration advised the Supreme Court yesterday to rule in favor of a New Hampshire law requiring physicians to notify at least one of a minor’s parents 48 hours before performing an abortion. This marks the first time that the Bush administration has directly intervened in a Supreme Court case on abortion, reports the Washington Post.
Signed into law in 2003 by former New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson (R), the state’s parental notification law was struck down by the First Circuit Court of Appeals because it failed to include an exception for cases in which a young woman’s health is at risk. New Hampshire appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear the case this fall.
In a friend-of-the-court brief, the Bush administration argued that the outcome of this case could likely influence a Supreme Court decision on the so-called “Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003,” a federal abortion procedure ban signed by President Bush in 2003. District courts in Nebraska, New York, and San Francisco have all ruled this law unconstitutional because it does not include an exception to protect a woman’s health. The Bush administration appealed all three initial rulings, and in July the 8th US Court of Appeals upheld Nebraska’s district court ruling.