No compromise on parental notification
Justices Re-enter Abortion Debate With Case on Parental Consent
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, re-entering the abortion debate amid burgeoning speculation about Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist's retirement, agreed Monday to hear an appeal of a decision striking down a state parental notification law.<br><br>Justices will review a lower court ruling that struck down such a law in New Hampshire. The Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the 2003 law was unconstitutional because it didn't provide an exception to protect the minor's health in the event of a medical emergency.
Some liberals think that parental consent laws constitute a reasonable "compromise" on abortion. Parental consent laws for minors are unacceptable, and argument that might establish their legitimacy undermines core pro-choice values.
Abortion is a medical procedure. As such, minors should have the same rights to obtain an abortion as any other medical service. Medical ethics guarantee all mentally competent patients privacy and autonomy, regardless of age. Note that parental consent laws only come into play when a woman seeking an abortion is competent to make her own medical decisions. (Guardianship for mentally incompetent patients is a totally separate issue.)
I'll post more about parental notification later, but I figured I should throw down the gauntlet preemptively.