Indiana asks Supreme Court to let it enforce parental-notice abortion law
Indiana asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to let it enforce a law that would stiffen parental notice requirements in cases where a minor seeks an abortion.
The law at issue has been blocked since 2017 by lower courts that relied on Roe v. Wade and related precedents. With Roe’s overruling last month, however, Indiana is now asking the justices to fast-track an order to lower courts to clear the way for the law to become effective immediately.
“Delay would only serve to prevent enforcement of a duly enacted state law designed to protect minors, families, and the unborn,” Thomas Fisher, the solicitor general of Indiana, told the justices in court papers.
Under the current time frame, the law would take effect only after the Supreme Court’s judgment is formally transmitted to a Chicago-based lower federal appeals court on July 25.
The development Thursday is just the latest example of the shape-shifting state of abortion law in the wake of the conservative majority Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last month. Abortion is now banned in at least nine states, and additional bans and restrictions in GOP-led states are expected soon.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who is handling the emergency request, asked the defendants, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, to respond by Friday. Typically, Justice Amy Coney Barrett would oversee emergency requests arising from Indiana, but she is recused because of her involvement in the case as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
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.