The attorney general of Indiana has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a state law that requires parents to be notified when a minor obtains an abortion.
Attorney General Curtis Hill said in a press statement released Friday:
Nothing in the U.S. Constitution prohibits Indiana from requiring parental notification when an unemancipated minor is getting an abortion. 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.
The law pertains to minors who have already received an exemption from a juvenile court allowing them to have an abortion without parental permission. Parental notice, however, is still required except when the court indicates the child lives with abusive family members or some other reason that would be against the best interests of the minor.
The preliminary injunction against the enforcement of Indiana’s parental notice law by a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is still in place. That court declined the state’s petition for a rehearing of the matter by the full court.
In 2017, the ACLU challenged the law on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky shortly after it passed and just before it was about to be enacted, reported WIBC News.
“This requirement would impose an undue burden on the recognized constitutional right of young women to obtain an abortion,” said ACLU lawyer Ken Falk. “In some cases, parents aren’t available or would put the woman in serious danger of either physical or emotional harm of blocking the abortion.”
However, Judge Frank Easterbrook of the Seventh Circuit wrote, “It is better to send this dispute on its way to the only institution that can give an authoritative answer.”
The press release from Hill’s office described the issue as carrying a “tangled web of case law.”
“When even the most experienced and distinguished members of the federal judiciary throw up their hands in confused frustration,” Hill noted, “it is time for our nation’s highest court to issue guidance.”
“An abortion is a medical procedure that could have implications for a child’s future treatment,” the attorney general 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.”