New Hampshire legislature repeals abortion parental notification law

[JURIST] The New Hampshire State Senate voted 15-9 [press release] Thursday to repeal [HB 184 text] a 2003 law requiring parental notification [text] for minors seeking an abortion [JURIST news archive]. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch [official website] has indicated that he will sign the bill, which was initially passed in the New Hampshire House of Representatives on March 21 by a vote of 217-141.

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

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 remanded case once Lynch signs the bill repealing the notification law, which will render the proceeding moot. The New York Times has more.

 

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