New Hampshire Senate Likely to Overturn Parental Notification Abortion Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 30, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Hampshire Senate Likely to Overturn Parental Notification Abortion Law Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 30
, 2007

Concord, NH ( — The New Hampshire Senate appears likely to follow state House in voting to overturn the state’s parental notification law. Pro-abortion lawmakers have been wanting to scrap the provision, allowing parents to know when their teenager daughters are considering an abortion, even though the Supreme Court essentially upheld it.

The notification statue has never been enforced and went all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld it in part, but abortion advocates are moving a measure that would take it off the books.

Earlier decisions found the law unconstitutional but the high court ruled that parts of the law that should be voided could be taken out and the rest of the law could remain intact.

Abortion advocates want to ditch the law entirely and put a much weaken version in place and pro-life lawmakers have lost at every turn to try to stop them or simply amend the current law.

New Hampshire state House members voted 226-130 in March to repeal the state’s parental notification law.

The Senate is expected to debate the repeal measure next week and is likely to approve the bill. After that, it heads to pro-abortion Gov. John Lynch, who has favored repealing the notification statute all along and will sign the repealer.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill yesterday and few people attended because of the expected vote. A committee vote is slated for tomorrow.

Four Senate Democrats have co-sponsored the repeal but Senate Republicans, who are in the minority, are expected to oppose it.

The Concord Monitor reports that Senate Republican Leader Ted Gatsas and Sen. Bob Clegg, have proposed amending rather than deleting the law, a move that the House refused to endorse.

"This gives us an opportunity to take that so-called unconstitutional piece of legislation and move it forward so that parents are involved," Gatsas told the newspaper.

Before the House voted for the repeal bill the first time, Rep. Fran Wendelboe sponsored an amendment to improve the law to meet concerns brought up in court. The vote on the amendment came in at 213-135 against it.

"It is not a test of how pro-choice or pro-life you are: It is a parental rights issue," Wendelboe said before the vote. "You can’t get a tattoo, or get your ears pierced, you can’t smoke, you can’t ride a bicycle under 16 without a helmet because the state knows better."

Gatsas has put forward a similar proposal to amend the law to not require the parental notification in legitimate emergency health situations, which the courts said should not be included in the general notification requirement.

But abortion advocates are lobbying members of the Senate to simply vote to defeat the law.

"Far and away the cleanest solution to the problem we face today is to repeal the bill, start with a clean slate," Martin Honigberg, a Planned Parenthood of Northern New England lawyers, told the Monitor.

Pro-life advocates have been disappointed by the votes and New Hampshire Citizens for Life president Roger Stenson told, “Parents have a primordial right to protect and counsel their children. Children have the right to their parents’ involvement in their lives."

He said the legislators who voted to get rid of the involvement law "trampled on every family in our state."

He said the vote would encourage secret abortions on minors with people who sexually abuse them taking them for abortions without their parents knowing.

Related web sites:
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