by Steven Ertelt
February 16, 2007
Concord, NH (LifeNews.com) — The New Hampshire state legislature has started its work on repealing a state law that would require telling parents when their teenage daughter is considering an abortion. The House Judiciary Committee voted 12-5 yesterday in favor of ditching the statute.
The law requires telling at least one parent 48 hours before the abortion practitioner can do the abortion on the minor girl.
It was enacted in 2003 but abortion advocates including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the ACLU and two abortion businesses, filed suit against it. They claimed the law needed a health exception to allow teenagers to get a judicial waiver in emergency cases when parents supposedly couldn’t be told.
The law ultimately went to the U.S. Supreme Court last year and it ruled that lower courts should have just ruled certain parts of it unconstitutional and let the rest stand.
But U.S. District Judge Joseph DiClerico, who originally ruled the law unconstitutional, 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.
The committee’s vote fell along party lines and the repeal bill now heads to the full state House for a vote, where it is expected to be approved.
State Rep. Liz Hager, a Republican, is the lead sponsor of the repeal measure, House Bill 184, and New Hampshire Gov John Lynch said last week he will sign the bill.
Lynch press secretary Colin Manning said the governor 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.”
Pro-life advocates oppose the repeal bill and say the law should simply be fixed to respond to the court’s concerns rather than taken off the books entirely.