Supreme Court Rules Indiana Can Enforce Pro-Life Law Requiring Parental Notification on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 18, 2022   |   2:03PM   |   Washington, DC

In another pro-life victory for state laws that protect babies from abortion, the Supreme Court issued an order today ruling that Indiana can enforce its existing parental notification law.

Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe, states have been working overtime to secure enforcement of their pro-life laws protecting women and unborn children. Indiana had requested that an injunction against its 2017 law requiring parental consent before an underage girl can get an abortion be overturned.

Today, the Supreme Court granted that request after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit said it could not allow enforcement without a Supreme Court order saying its ruling in Dobbs was now an official judgement. That is expected on July 25th but Indiana requested the ability to enforce the pro-life law before that takes place and SCOTUS today gave the state the green light.

“Delay would only serve to prevent enforcement of a duly enacted state statute designed to protect minors, families, and the unborn,” lawyers for the state said in their court filings.

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Chief Justice John Roberts issued a brief order granting the state’s request to transmit the judgement immediately.

The law requires abortion providers to notify a parent or legal guardian before a girl under age 18 has an abortion. It gives parents/legal guardians a civil recourse if someone fraudulently poses as a parent in order for a minor girl to get an abortion. It also makes sure parents are involved if a minor appears before a judge to request an abortion without her parents’ consent.

Indiana’s previous Attorney General Curtis Hill fought for the law in court.

“Nothing in the U.S. Constitution prohibits Indiana from requiring parental notification when an unemancipated minor is getting an abortion,” Attorney General Hill said. “Even to get a tattoo, a minor in Indiana needs parental permission. Quite simply, parents have rights and responsibilities in the care and upbringing of a child.”

Further, on a practical level, Indiana’s law helps protect the child’s own well-being, Attorney General Hill added.

“An abortion is a medical procedure that could have implications for a child’s future treatment,” he said. “It’s an event that could bear on a child’s emotional needs and mental health, and it’s an event that parents need to know about in order to provide nurturing care and guidance.”

Meanwhile, a new Rasmussen poll released today shows a strong majority of Americans support parental notification laws that help parents know when their teen daughter is considering an abortion.