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Nebraska Supreme Court Rules Young Woman Exempt from Parental Notification Abortion Requirement

The Nebraska state Supreme Court ruled today that a 17-year-old woman, who was initially denied an abortion due to her age, can obtain an abortion without notifying her mother. The unnamed young woman does not know the identity of her father. The Court overturned a lower court’s decision, which ruled the woman had to inform her mother of an abortion 48 hours prior to the procedure. According to the Omaha World-Herald, the ruling stated that “It is not for this court to determine the correctness of petitioner’s decision” to obtain an abortion and concluded that the “Petitioner has demonstrated that the parental ties of care and support between petitioner and her mother have been broken and petitioner is living an independent life.” The woman lives with her boyfriend and their two-month-old child, has graduated from high school and is enrolled in college, owns a car, works two jobs, and pays all bills for herself and her son. She is less than two months away from turning 18. Nebraska has recently enacted two new anti-choice laws. Nebraska is now the first state to restrict access to abortion by requiring a doctor to screen women for any mental or physical problems before they perform the procedure. Another new law outlaws abortion after 20 weeks. Prior to the passage of the new law, Nebraska law restricted abortion after the age of viability, which occurs on a case-by-case basis, but is generally accepted to be between 22 and 24 weeks.

Sources:

Omaha World-Herald 5/21/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/13/10

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