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Supreme Court Will Hear Parental Notification Case this Fall

The United States Supreme Court announced Monday that it will consider the case of New Hampshire’s parental notification law during its fall session, which begins in October. The case, known as Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood 04-1144, will address a New Hampshire law that requires a parent or guardian to be notified in person or by certified mail 48 hours before a minor undergoes an abortion, except in cases in which the young woman has a court exemption or her life is at risk, reports the Washington Post. The law does not include an exception for the health of the minor.

Federal district and circuit courts overturned the law, saying it forces doctors to “gamble with their patients’ lives” as there is no exemption for the woman’s health, but there is an exemption if her condition becomes life-threatening, according to a press release from the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. The New Hampshire law was overturned on the basis of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 Supreme Court decision that said states may not impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion, and Stenberg v. Carhart, a 2000 Supreme Court abortion decision, in which Nebraska’s ban on late-term abortions was overturned because its lack of a health exemption resulted in an undue burden reports the Associated Press.

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Sources:

ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project press release, 5/23/05; Associated Press/New York Times, 5/23/05; Feminist Daily News Wire, 3/1/05; Washington Post, 5/24/05

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