Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood

In an unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals overstepped its bounds when it permanently blocked New Hampshire's parental notification law. The justices avoided the question of whether New Hampshire's law (which didn't have an exemption for the health of the mother) was an "undue burden" and ruled that the lower court should have merely issued an "declaratory judgment and an injunction prohibiting the statute's unconstitutional application."

The opinion, written by Justice O'Connor, is here.

Planned Parenthood has a press release "welcoming" this ruling. I haven't seen an official response from National Right to Life yet but the American Center for Law and Justice says, "The Supreme Court got it right in determining that the appeals court went too far by declaring the parental notification law in New Hampshire unconstitutional. The undivided decision by the high court underscores the fact that parents have a critical role to play in the health and well-being of their children— especially when considering an abortion."

This seems to be a case where neither side got entirely what they wanted.

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