by Steven Ertelt
February 8, 2007
Concord, NH (LifeNews.com) — New Hampshire Gov John Lynch said Thursday he will sign a bill the state legislature is considering that would repeal the state’s parental notification law on abortion. The bill received a hearing today and it lasted three hours as both sides of the abortion debate came to testify.
The law requires abortion practitioners to notify the parents of a teenager seeking an abortion 48 hours before it can be done.
U.S. District Judge Joseph DiClerico originally ruled the law unconstitutional after the legislature approved it in 2003 but the Supreme Court said lower courts should have just ruled certain parts of it unconstitutional and let the rest stand.
But, Judge DiClerico has declined to issue a final ruling on the notification law "in deference to the Legislature" because it is considering the bill to repeal the law entirely.
Abortion advocates say they have the votes in the legislature to pass the repealer bill and Lynch press secretary Colin Manning said after the hearing that the governor would sign it.
He told the Concord Monitor that Lynch feels “current law fails to protect the health and safety of all women. If a bill repealing this flawed law were to reach the governor’s desk, he would sign it.”
Rep. Fran Wendelboe, a pro-life Republican, filed amendments to the bill to correct the parts of the law lower courts found unconstitutional. Manning said Lynch has not seen the amendments.
Rep. Elizabeth Hager, a Republican, is sponsoring the bill to repeal the law and told the Associated Press she thinks it will pass.
"I’m pretty confident we have the votes to have this pass," she said. "I wouldn’t think he’d want to make any decisions while we’re discussing it where it should be discussed."
Several abortion advocates including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the ACLU and two abortion businesses, filed suit against the law in November 2003.