A Louisiana judge dismissed a lawsuit from abortion activists Thursday challenging a new state law that protects unborn babies and underage girls who are seeking abortions without their parents’ knowledge.
District Court Judge Timothy Kelley dismissed the case by pro-abortion group Lift Louisiana for lack of standing, the New Orleans Gambit reports.
Earlier this summer, Lift Louisiana sued to challenge the law regarding parental consent for minors seeking abortions. Because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, all parental involvement laws for abortion must include a judicial bypass, meaning a minor may request permission from a judge instead of their parents.
The new law limits the jurisdiction to authorize a minor’s abortion without parental consent to courts within the minor’s parish of residence. Pro-life advocates said the law prevents abortion groups from “shopping around” for judges who support abortion and rubber stamp judicial bypass requests.
Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, praised the judge’s ruling as a victory for parents and children in Louisiana. He thanked state Attorney General Jeff Landry for defending the law.
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“Once again, the abortion industry ran to the shelter of a court to cling to its mission of abortion-on-demand, this time seeking to defend abortion for minors without any barriers or parental involvement,” Clapper said. “Judge Kelley rightly dismissed this ridiculous lawsuit and told the abortion businesses they can return to court once they actually have a real plaintiff.”
Angie Thomas, a lawyer and associate director of Louisiana Right to Life, said abortion activists admitted that most judicial bypass requests do not happen in the girl’s home parish. She said judges in the girls’ home areas are better equipped to make decisions because they know more about local resources available to the girls and can better determine her maturity.
Meanwhile, abortion activists decried the ruling, claiming the new law violates the Louisiana Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court rulings, according to the Gambit.
“The Supreme Court made it very clear that minors need access to the courts to get a fair hearing and have an opportunity to show they are mature enough to make the decision to terminate their pregnancy,” said Michelle Erenberg, co-founder and executive director of Lift Louisiana. “The change in the Louisiana law interrupts this process.”
Erenberg argued that because abortion is “time sensitive” and some areas of the state have fewer judges, the courts may not be able to follow the four-day requirement for judicial bypass hearings.
She also made a bizarre claim that the requirement for the hearing to be held in the minor’s own local parish could increase travel times.
“Before, a young person could go to court in a parish where the clinic was located and get the required counseling and wait 24 hours for the court order, then can go to the clinic the next day,” she told the news outlet. “Now, minors have to travel back and forth from their home parish to where the abortion clinic is.”
Currently, 37 states currently require parental involvement (consent or notification in some form) before a minor aborts her unborn baby. A 2011 Gallup poll found 71 percent of Americans favor laws requiring parents’ involvement in a minor’s abortion decision.