Governor Asks Supreme Court to Reverse New Hampshire Abortion Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 13, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Governor Asks Supreme Court to Reverse New Hampshire Abortion Law Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 13, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Putting him at odds with the official state response to a pro-abortion lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s parental notification law, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch submitted a legal brief to the Supreme Court invalidate the measure.

Lynch’s brief says two federal courts, a district one and an appeals court, have both ruled against the law and he claims the nation’s highest court should as well.

"As governor, and as a father, I believe parents should be involved in these important decisions," he said. "But we must also recognize that there are cases where that is not possible — and we should not risk the health and safety of young women in those cases."

However, the official state brief submitted to the court by Attorney General Kelly Ayotte for state lawmakers says the law is needed to make sure parents are not denied the ability to help their daughters when they’re considering an abortion.

Lynch’s brief supports Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, which filed the lawsuit.

The Supreme Court is expected to hold hearings on the case in late November and its the first court case concerning abortion in five years. The last case, in 2000, had the high court overturning a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions because it lacked an unnecessary health exception.

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the New Hampshire law because it didn’t have a health exception. However, state lawmakers and Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, who filed a brief for President Bush, argue that a judicial bypass provision takes care of an abortion that may be necessary in a health emergency.

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.