The Supreme Court heard its first abortion rights case in five years Wednesday in a consideration of a minor’s requirement to inform her parents of her intent to secure an abortion. ( Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood, 04-1144).
As many as 33 states have some sort of statutory parental notice or consent requirement for minors seeking an abortion. Ohio, Indiana, & Kentucky all require parental consent, with Ohio’s statute just having been tested in District Court last September.(See Post)
Although the outcome of Ayotte will not affect the 1973 Roe v. Wade standing that being able to have an abortion is a fundamental constitutional right, it is said to be significant in several other ways and has been getting its share of media coverage. (See SCOTUSblog and LegalBlogWatch postings yesterday & last Wednesday)
While the Supreme Court deliberates the Nebraska statute, the House Judiciary Committee will soon be considering the “Parental Notification & Intervention Act,” introduced last June. It would require written parental notification either by personal delivery or certified mail unless there is “clear & convincing evidence of parental abuse,” and a 96-hour waiting period.
And, having been passed in the House by a 270-157 vote the last part of April, the “Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act” is now on the Senate’s calendar. This bill would amend the federal criminal code to “prohibit transporting a minor across a State line to obtain an abortion, thereby abridging a parent’s right under a law in force in the State where the minor resides requiring parental involvement in a minor’s abortion decision,” unless having the abortion is a matter of life for the minor.
Not even in the mix is the “fetal pain” issue brought up last month by the Wisconsin Assembly’s bill, and the fact that three states already have that consideration in their statutes. Versions in both the Senate and House of the “Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act” are also in committee. (See Post)