Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Hampshire's Parental Notification Law a Go...Sort of

I'm disappointed but not at all surprised since O'Connor has consistently ruled in favor of parental notification laws, even when it required both parents, as long as they have a health exception for the minor woman.

What is interesting, however, is how the Supreme's ruled in this case (Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood. They didn't say the law was bad, but instead remanded it to the lower court to reconsider whether the whole law was unconstitutional. The ACLU predicts the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals will again strike down the law.

In several cases leading up to this point, O'Connor has also consistently stated that any restriction on abortion must have a health exception as it thus places an undue burden on our ability to obtain a safe and legal abortion. In the case of New Hampshire, there was only an exception for a minor's impending death but not her health.

(Alito knows this because he cited her explanation of the undue burden standard and her definition of a health exception as the lone dissenter in Casey.)

And hey, it's only a 10-page brief in which O'Connor stated, "under our cases it would be unconstitutional to apply the act in a manner that subjects minors to significant health risks."

So New Hampshire has to create a health risk clause if they want to save their Parental Notification Act.