Indiana again asks full 7th Circuit to hear parental-notice abortion case

Indiana has once again asked that the full U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals consider and uphold the Hoosier state’s requirement that parents be notified when their minor children seek abortions, Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Wednesday.

The AG’s request for reconsideration comes after a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of Indiana’s parental notice law last year.

That 2017 law, Senate Enrolled Act 404, would have required parental notification for minors seeking an abortion unless a judge determined the notice would not be in the minor’s best interests.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, challenged the law in Indiana Southern District Court soon after its passage and Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker granted PPINK’s request for an injunction.

In addition to its decision to uphold the injunction, the 7th Circuit also denied Hill’s petition for a hearing by the full 11-member court.

But in July, Supreme Court justices granted the state’s petition for certiorari and remanded the case “for further consideration in light of June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo, 591 U. S. ___ (2020),” prompting Indiana to bring the issue back to the 7th Circuit.

Hill’s office on Monday again filed a petition for rehearing en banc, asking that the full 7th Circuit consider the Indiana parental notice requirement.

“We previously fell one vote short of receiving a hearing by the full court,” Hill said in a statement. “The answers provided in the June Medical case should provide further impetus for such a hearing.”

States have a clear interest in protecting the rights of parents and the well-being of minors, Hill added.

“Even when courts permit minors to obtain abortions without parental consent, those same parents still have rights and responsibilities for the care and upbringing of their daughters,” he said. “As they love and care for their children, parents need to know what they have experienced. An abortion is a procedure that could have severe implications for future medical treatment. It is also a procedure that could bear on a child’s emotional needs and future mental health.”

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