Appeals court strikes down Indiana’s parental-consent abortion law

closeup of a young woman patient signing an informed consent at the doctors office

A federal appeals court has blocked an Indiana law requiring parents to be notified when their daughter is seeking an abortion. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky brought the challenge to the law.

The law had required minors seeking an abortion to provide the courts with written consent from a parent.

On Aug. 28, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on a vote of 2-1 upheld a lower court decision that had struck down the law. The appeals court said the parental notification provision in the law would place an “undue burden” on teens seeking an abortion.

Parents supporting the law argued they had a right to be involved in their daughter’s medical decisions, but the appeals court disagreed.

“The State has not yet come forward with evidence showing that there is a problem for the new parental notice requirement to solve, let alone that the law would reasonably be expected to solve it,” Circuit Judge David Hamilton wrote.

U.S. Circuit Judge Michael Kanne, a Reagan appointee, dissented.

Kanne wrote in his 15-page dissent: “Planned Parenthood has not introduced evidence that establishes that requiring mature minors to notify their parents that they intend to have an abortion constitutes an undue burden.”

After the initial court stuck down the law, attorney general Curtis Hill said the ruling was “an attempt to give courts, rather than parents, the legal guardianship of children.”

The law at issue, Senate Enrolled Act 404, was signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb in 2017.


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