Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Ayotte was decided today by the Supreme Court.

It was a unanimous decision, saying that the lower courts overstepped their bounds by declaring the entire law, which required all minors to notify their parents 48hrs prior to an abortion and left no room for any exceptions in the case of the minor's health or extenuating circumstances, as unconstitutional.

Sandra Day O'Connor, who I thought would be on the correct side on this one, wrote the majority opinion.
SCOTUS, though, didn't rule on the actual facts of the case, only on whether or not the lower courts were correct in their process of throwing out the law.
The question should have been whether or not this law places an "undue burden" on women seeking abortions -- which it does, no doubt -- but that's not an issue the Court dealt with at all.

SCOTUS overturned the lower court's rruling, and returned it to the appeals court (the First US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston).

"In the case that is before us ... the lower courts need not have invalidated the law wholesale. Only a few applications of New Hampshire's parental notification statute would present a constitutional problem. So long as they are faithful to legislative intent, then, in this case, the lower courts can issue a declaratory judgment and an injunction prohibiting the statute's unconstitutional application."


And we watch as our reproductive rights continue to be eroded.....

(The following blogs will probably have continuous up-to-date coverage and commentary on this decision: Bush v Choice and PPFA's SaveROE blog.)

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