ACLU Applauds Governor Lynch's Signing of Bill Repealing New Hampshire Abortion Restriction

July 12, 2007 12:00 am

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CONCORD, NH – The American Civil Liberties Union today applauded a decision by Governor Lynch to sign a bill into law repealing a teen abortion restriction. The repeal stands as the final chapter in a battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We are thrilled that New Hampshire has recognized the importance of protecting teenagers’ health,” said Corinne Schiff, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “The repeal ensures that teens in New Hampshire facing medical emergencies will be able to obtain the care they need.”

The governor’s action repeals a 2003 law that prevented doctors from performing an abortion for a teen under the age of 18 until 48 hours after a parent had been notified. The law contained no medical emergency exception to protect a pregnant teen’s health. A challenge to the law reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005, in a case brought by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England et al.

In January 2006, the Court held the law unconstitutional because it failed to include an exception for medical emergencies and sent the case back to the lower courts to consider how best to fix the violation. The lower court was reviewing the case when the New Hampshire legislature passed the repeal, ending the lawsuit.

“By repealing this extreme and dangerous measure, Governor Lynch has sensibly put teenagers’ health and rights above political wrangling,” said Claire Ebel, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.

For more information on Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England et al see:

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