President Bush Backs New Hampshire Abortion Law at Supreme Court

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 9, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Backs New Hampshire Abortion Law at Supreme Court Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 9, 2005

Washington, DC ( — President Bush entered a Supreme Court battle on Monday over a New Hampshire law requiring abortion businesses to tell parents there when their minor daughter is considering having an abortion. The White House argues the law is constitutional and shouldn’t be overturned.

In may the high court decided to hear an abortion case for the first time in five years, when it overturned a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions. That case, which overturned the ban on the gruesome abortion procedure because it lacked a health exception, could come into play again.

Abortion advocates argue the New Hampshire law is unconstitutional because it lacks a health exception, a fact the White House cites.

Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, in an amicus brief supporting New Hampshire’s law, said the Supreme Court’s decision "may have direct relevance to the government’s defense of the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act" — the federal partial-birth abortion ban Bush signed in 2003.

That statute also does not have a health exception because doctors told Congress there is never any situation in which the three-day-long abortion procedure is necessary to protect a woman’s health in an emergency situation.

"Just as there is no need for a health exception to a record-keeping statute, so too there is no need for a general health exception to a parental-notification statute," Clement wrote.

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the law, even though a judicial bypass provision exists for such cases and abuse situations.

The high court will consider the case of Kelly Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England seeking to overturn the law when it begins its new term in October.

Planned Parenthood of New England filed a lawsuit in November 2003 challenging the New Hampshire law, which says parents must be told about the potential abortion 48 hours in advance.