Respect for Life
Pro-lifers encourage New Hampshire legislature to keep parental notification laws

.- A national pro-life group is calling on New Hampshire legislators to preserve the state's parental notification law. New Hampshire is one of several states which is considering putting an end to parental notification.

A spokesman for New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch said the governor would sign a repeal of the state's parental notification act on abortions if it passes in the Legislature, The Union Leader reported.

"Some legislators claim that they want to repeal the parental notification statute in order to prevent judicial activism,” said Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. “If that's their motivation, let them oppose its most egregious example, Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, let New Hampshire's parents exercise their right to know about a minor daughter's abortion."

The parental notification law requires one parent to be notified in writing 48 hours before a doctor or clinic performs an abortion on a minor child. It allows a girl to ask a judge to authorize the abortion if she does not want to involve her parents.

Immediately after Gov. Craig Benson signed the parental notification law into effect in 2003, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England sued in federal court, arguing that the law is unconstitutional because it has no health exception for emergency cases. Two lower courts agreed and the state appealed.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in January 2006 that the lower courts "chose the most blunt remedy" available by striking down the entire law. So the justices sent the case back to U.S. District Court in Concord to settle the issue of how the Legislature meant the law to protect a young woman's health.

They said the federal appeals courts could then settle the issue of how to protect the confidentiality of girls who seek abortion permission from a judge.

On Feb. 1, a federal judge in Concord said he will continue to block enforcement of the law while the Legislature works on the repeal bill. If the repeal passes, the case is moot. If it doesn't, the case will continue.

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