Healthcare

Supreme Court clears way for Indiana parental notice abortion law

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)


The Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for Indiana to enforce a law that stiffens parental notice requirements in cases where a minor seeks an abortion.

The law at issue had been blocked since 2017 by lower courts based on Roe v. Wade and related precedents. Following Roe’s overruling, Indiana asked the justices last week to fast-track an order to lower courts to clear the way for the law to become effective immediately.

Thomas Fisher, the solicitor general of Indiana, told the justices in court papers,that “delay would only serve to prevent enforcement of a duly enacted state law designed to protect minors, families, and the unborn.” 

Planned Parenthood, whose legal challenge to the Indiana law was pending when Roe was struck down last month, said it would not oppose the expedited timeline requested by Indiana state officials. 

The practical effect of the justices’ order on Monday was to immediately transmit its judgment that Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit be tossed to a Chicago-based lower federal appeals court, rather than stick to the court’s standard, lengthier procedural timeline. 

The development is just the latest example of the shifting state of abortion law in the wake of the conservative majority Supreme Court’s revolutionary decision to overturn the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. Since then, abortion is now banned in at least eight states, and additional bans and restrictions in GOP-led states are expected soon.

The Indiana measure at issue, Senate Enrolled Act 404, would require state judges to inform parents in cases where a minor child seeks an abortion, even if the judge has determined the minor is capable of making the decision on their own.

It provides for an exception, however, where a judge determines that parental notification would not be in the child’s best interest.

Chief Justice John Roberts handled the emergency request from Indiana. Justice Amy Coney Barrett would normally oversee emergency requests arising from Indiana, but she was recused from the case because of her involvement in it while serving as judge on the Chicago-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

Tags Abortion Amy Coney Barrett Amy Coney Barrett Indiana Indiana John Roberts John Roberts planned parenthood Planned Parenthood Roe v. Wade Senate Enrolled Act 404 supreme court abortion ruling Supreme Court of the United States Thomas Fisher
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