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Feminist News


April-30-96

Supreme Court Lets Stand Ruling Against Parental Notification Law

On Monday (4-29), the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 against hearing an appeal by South Dakota to restrict abortions for minors. The South Dakota law, which had been found unconstitutional by a U.S. appeals court, would have required minors to notify their parents 48 hours before getting an abortion. It was the only such law in the country that did not allow girls to obtain permission from a judge in place of a parent. The court also let stand a ruling that said the state cannot enforce criminal and civil penalties against doctors who fail to comply with the law.

Dissenting Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas have records of voting to let states outlaw abortion. A review of the appeal would require dissenting votes from four justices. The Courts refusal to hear the case was regarded as a sign that it is not ready to take up the issue of abortion again after the 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey reaffirmed the 1972 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Media Resources: The Nando Net and Associated Press - April 29, 1996; Reuters - April 29, 1996; The New York Times - April 30, 1996