New Hampshire governor signs repeal of abortion parental notification law

[JURIST] New Hampshire Governor John Lynch [official website] signed a bill [HB 184 text] Friday repealing a 2003 law requiring parental notification [text] for minors seeking an abortion [JURIST news archive]. New Hampshire is the first state to repeal the notification requirement, though the 2003 statute never took effect in the state due to a successful court challenge [JURIST report]. The rescission bill, initially passed in the New Hampshire House of Representatives in March, was approved [JURIST report] by the New Hampshire Senate earlier this month.

New Hampshire's notification law was initially struck down [opinion] by the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit because it did not contain a medical exception to protect the health of the minor and was later considered by the US Supreme Court [official website]. The Supreme Court vacated the lower court ruling [JURIST report] in 2006 and remanded the case, holding [opinion]:

if enforcing a statute that regulates access to abortion would be unconstitutional in medical emergencies, invalidating the statute entirely is not always necessary or justified, for lower courts may be able to render a narrower declaratory and injunctive relief.
The district court is expected to dismiss the case now that legal challenges to the notification bill are now moot. AP has more.

 

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