by Steven Ertelt
October 13, 2005
St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) — A Minnesota abortion business is appealing a judge’s ruling saying it broke state law when it performed an abortion on a 17 year-old girl without notifying her parents. Ramsey County District Judge David Higgs ruled last week that state law required the abortion facility to notify the girl’s parents in writing before performing the abortion.
Although the law was approved in 1981, the Planned Parenthood abortion business said it wasn’t subject to the law for the 2002 abortion because the teen had already given birth in a previous pregnancy. Planned Parenthood argued the teen should have been able to consent to the abortion on her own as a result.
"Clearly our definition is that she was a legal adult," Marta Coursey, Planned Parenthood’s director of marketing communications, told the Associated Press. "We are really committed to making sure this young woman’s rights are protected."
The girls parents sued the abortion business in May and said that the law applies to all minor girls, even those who have been pregnant previously.
Attorney John Angell, who represents the parents, told AP, "My clients feel the relationship between a minor and parents have been breached by this."
"They have a right to be notified and respond accordingly. They were never notified," Angell added.
Both the teen and her parents are protected from having their identities revealed under a court order.
Judge Higgs scheduled a jury trial in April to determine damages if the parties don’t settle the lawsuit out of court.
The Minnesota Department of Health says there were 13,788 abortions reported in 2004, compared to 14,174 in 2003 — a decrease of nearly three percent.
The abortion report covers 2004, the first full year the Woman’s Right to Know law was in place. The law requires abortion centers to inform women of abortion risks, complications and alternatives. It also provides women with facts on fetal development throughout gestation, the facts of fetal pain and other vital information.
In 2004, a total of 15,859 pregnant women sought out information about abortion services, but more than 2,100 decided against having an abortion.
Related web sites:
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life – https://www.mccl.org