Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England

U.S. Supreme Court ,

Supreme Court case involves the constitutionality of The New Hampshire Parental Notification Prior to Abortion Act. The Act prohibits abortions for minors unless the parents have been notified, but provides exceptions for abortions necessary to prevent death and for minors who have obtained a judicial declaration that they are mature enough to make a decision concerning abortion. The First Circuit Court of Appeals previously ruled that the Act was unconstitutional because it does not include a health exception and the death exception is too narrow. ADL, together with 41 other religious and religiously affiliated organizations, joined a brief authored by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The brief argued, among other things, that in emergency situations, the Act unconstitutionally threatens the health and lives of young women, and undermines their right to choose an abortion in accordance with religious faiths that place great value on women’s health and lives. The variety of religious beliefs about abortion underscores the importance of maintaining a private sphere– free from undue government interference – in which women, including minors, can make choices to protect their own lives and health in accordance with their faiths. Although parental guidance in young women’s major life decisions, including whether to end a pregnancy, is important, state-mandated parental involvement can sometimes harm the minor, such as where the family is dysfunctional or where an emergency situation requires immediate action.