Lawmakers in New Hampshire Seek to Repeal Parental Notification Law
Democrats in New Hampshire, who now have a majority in the state House and Senate, announced they will attempt to repeal the state parental notification law during the next legislative session. The law, which passed in 2003 by six votes in the state House and by one vote in the state Senate, requires doctors to notify parents at least 48 hours before a minor obtains an abortion.
In November 2003, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Concord Feminist Health Center, the Feminist Health Center of Portsmouth, N.H., and Manchester, N.H.-based ob-gyn Wayne Goldner filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of this law because it did not include an exception in cases where a minor’s health was at risk. The 1ST U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law in its entirety, but the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. On January 18, 2006, the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, upholding its own precedent that abortion laws must protect women’s health and well-being. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court to determine if the state legislature would have passed the law with a health exception. If not, the Court agreed that the law should be struck down.