New Hampshire Abortion Law Case Will Still Head to Supreme Court

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Hampshire Abortion Law Case Will Still Head to Supreme Court Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 21, 2005

Concord, NH ( — A lawsuit regarding a parental notification on abortion law from the state of New Hampshire will still head to the Supreme Court thanks to a decision by Gov. John Lynch to retain the state’s Attorney General. Had Lynch appointed someone new, there was a chance the case could have been dropped.

When Gov. Lynch took over from former Gov. Craig Benson, he had the choice of keeping or replacing Benson’s attorney general, Kelly Ayotte, who is representing the state in the abortion case.

Lynch chose to keep her and now the case will proceed.

"While we may not have agreed on every issue, I believe that Attorney General Ayotte is committed to working with me to make progress on the issues facing New Hampshire," Lynch said in a written statement yesterday.

One issue the two don’t agree on is abortion. Lynch is pro-abortion and Ayotte is defending the pro-life law in courts.

Abortion advocates like Dawn Touzin, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Northern New Hampshire hoped Lynch would replace Ayotte with someone who would drop the case.

Two courts have previously ruled the state’s parental notification law unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court has traditionally upheld such statutes. The case will be the first abortion case the high court has heard since overturning a Nebraska partial-birth abortion ban in 2000.

Touzin criticized Lynch’s decision in an interview with the Concord Monitor newspaper.

"We are very disappointed in the governor’s decision to re-nominate someone who has shown such a disregard for women’s health and safety," she claimed.

But the governor and leading elected officials praised Ayotte’s job as attorney general.

Arguments in the case of Kelly Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England are slated for November. The law says abortion businesses must tell a parents 48 hours ahead of a planned abortion on an underage girl.


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