Judge Slams Parental Notification Law, Claims Teen Girls Have a “Constitutional Right to Abortion”

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 5, 2018   |   7:06PM   |   Austin, TX

A 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge criticized Indiana on Friday for trying to help ensure that parents are aware when their minor daughter has an abortion.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are challenging the state law, which requires abortion facilities to obtain proof of consent from a parent or legal guardian before a minor daughter gets an abortion. The law gives parents/legal guardians a civil recourse if someone fraudulently poses as a parent in order for a minor girl to get an abortion, and it makes sure parents are aware if a minor appears before a judge to request an abortion without parental consent.

“This seems designed to encourage interference with a girl’s constitutional right to an abortion,” U.S. Circuit Judge Illana Rovner said.

Courthouse News reports Rovner and two other judges on the court considered an appeal to uphold the law Friday.

The ACLU of Indiana claimed the law violates young girls’ constitutional rights by imposing “new burdens” on their access to abortion. They also contended that young girls may seek abortions because of abusive home environments – an argument that does not make sense because the law allows a judge to wave the parental consent requirement in such cases.

On Friday, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher emphasized the importance of parents knowing when their daughter has a medical procedure, especially one as physically and emotionally traumatizing as an abortion.

“Parents have a right to know what’s happening to their children,” Fisher said. “Planned Parenthood cannot show this law will inevitably interfere with the abortion rights of minors.”

However, the appeals court judges appeared to agree with the abortion activists. According to the report:

Judge [David] Hamilton voiced particular concern for girls in foster care, who have a much higher rate of abortions.

Kenneth Falk, an attorney challenging the law for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, or PPINK, seized on the same point.

“Evidence shows that notice will lead to abuse – both physical and emotional,” Falk said. “Evidence shows women will be cast out of their homes.”

Parental notification/parental consent laws have strong public support. Currently, 37 states require some type of parental involvement in a minor’s abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

These laws help protect young women from abusive situations. Sexual abusers have been known to take their young victims to abortion clinics when they become pregnant.

In 2008, a Planned Parenthood in Bloomington, Indiana was exposed for agreeing to help cover up the sexual abuse of a minor in an undercover sting.

In another case in Ohio, Planned Parenthood faced a lawsuit after it failed to report the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl. The girl’s soccer coach got her pregnant and then took her to the abortion clinic to cover up his crime, LifeNews reported.

Despite the strong public support, abortion activists frequently help teens bypass these protective measures. In 2013, the National Right to Life Committee found in one state in a period of 4 1/2 years, there were 3,573 judicial petitions to bypass parents and only nine were denied.

NRLC’s Mary Spaulding Balch explained previously:

Parents are, for the most part, not given the opportunity to consent, they are not given the opportunity to be consulted, they are totally bypassed. Their minor daughter is given a secret abortion and they are then left in the dark trying to pick up the pieces of their injured daughter’s life not knowing where to begin. The abortion industry masterfully manipulates this judicial bypass loophole by getting their own attorneys appointed by the court to shepherd pregnant minors through the intimidating judicial system and the abortion is performed before anyone can take a breath.

However, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other abortion advocacy groups often lobby against parental involvement laws. They believe that underage girls should be able to abort their unborn babies in a dangerous surgical or drug-induced abortion procedure without their parents’ knowledge or consent.