Missouri Supreme Court rules parents can sue over abortions Mike Rosen-Molina at 7:22 PM ET
[JURIST] The Missouri Supreme Court [official website] Tuesday unanimously upheld [opinion] a 2005 law that allows parents to sue people who help their minor daughters get an abortion without parental consent. Planned Parenthood [advocacy website] had challenged the law on the basis that it infringed the group's First Amendment [LII backgrounder] right to free speech by blocking it from disseminating information or counseling clients about abortion. The Court applied a narrow interpretation of the law, finding that it only prohibited active aide in obtaining an abortion beyond merely providing information and thus did not infringe upon free speech.
The law [SB 1 text] states that no person shall intentionally cause, aid, or assist a minor to obtain an abortion without the consent of a parent or court order. Parents and guardians can sue anyone who either performs an abortion or helps the minor to obtain an abortion. A lower court judge upheld the law in 2005, but issued an injunction [JURIST report] against enforcing it pending an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court. The same month, a federal judge reached essentially the same finding and also issued a temporary restraining order [JURIST report]. AP has more.
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