New Hampshire Will Repeal Abortion-Parental Notification, Legislator Says

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 1, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Hampshire Will Repeal Abortion-Parental Notification, Legislator Says Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 1
, 2007

Concord, NH ( — A pro-abortion state legislator who is sponsoring a measure to repeal the state’s law requiring a teenage girl’s parents to be notified before she can have an abortion says she thinks she has enough votes to get the bill through the legislature.

The state House will vote next week on the legislation from State Rep. Elizabeth Hager, a Republican.

Hager indicated she expects the Senate to sign off on the bill as well and for it to get as much as 65 percent of the vote in the 400 member House. She predicts a 15-9 Senate vote to send the bill to pro-abortion Gov. John Lynch, who has said he would sign it.

She told the Associated Press that even pro-life lawmakers are supporting her bill, House Bill 184, because the current law allegedly is too problematic to fix.

"Even people who want to continue the debate about parents’ involvement in their children’s decision don’t want to do it with this bill," she said.

State Sen. Jackie Cilley, a Democrat, told AP she agreed with Hager’s assessment about the prospects for the measure.

"I think there is consensus that this was a bad law, that it didn’t stand the test of the courts and there could be all kinds of fiddling with it, but why do that with something that has a poor foundation to begin with. Why not start fresh," she said.

The House will vote on the bill Tuesday or Wednesday of next week and pro-life lawmakers aren’t going away without putting up a fight. They plan to propose an amendment to the bill that would fix the law to conform with court decisions.

The current 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" and its upcoming vote on the repeal 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.”