H. L. v. Matheson: Supreme Court Upholds Parental Notifications for Teens Seeking Abortions

H. L. v. Matheson: Supreme Court Upholds Parental Notifications for Teens Seeking Abortions


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Decided: H. L. v. Matheson - The U.S. Supreme Court rules 6-3 that states can require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teen-age girls seek abortions.

The majority decision argues that the Utah law doesn't prevent minors from getting an abortion, it just tries to ensure that parents are kept informed about their children's medical needs and status.

From the majority opinion:

"The Utah statute does not give parents a veto power over the minor's abortion decision. As applied to immature and dependent minors, the statute serves important considerations of family integrity and protecting adolescents, as well as providing an opportunity for parents to supply essential medical and other information to the physician.

The statute is not unconstitutional for failing to specify what information parents may furnish to physicians, or to provide for a mandatory period of delay after the physician notifies the parents; or because the State allows a pregnant minor to consent to other medical procedures without formal notice to her parents if she carries the child to term; or because the notice requirement may inhibit some minors from seeking abortions."

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