Jul 18, 2022 - Health

Supreme Court lets Indiana's parental consent abortion law take effect

Picture of abortion rights and anti-abortion protesters outside of the Supreme Court
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Supreme Court issued an order on Monday letting Indiana officials enforce a law requiring a minor to have parental consent to get an abortion.

The big picture: The law was first blocked shortly after it was enacted in 2017. A district court at the time found the law would be a "substantial obstacle" for minors who face potential abuse by their parents if they tell them about their pregnancy decisions.

Details: Minors in Indiana are required to get parental consent when getting an abortion. But they can petition a judge for an exception if they can prove they are "mature" enough to make the decision themself — a parent or guardian wouldn't have to be notified that the minor sought an exception.

  • The 2017 law requires parents or guardians to be notified of a minor's intent to get an abortion if the court does not consider them mature enough to bypass parental consent.
  • Abortion rights groups have said the law could be dangerous for a minor looking to keep their abortion confidential from their parents.

What happened: After Roe v. Wade was overturned, Indiana officials asked the 7th District U.S. Appeals Court to lift the injunction on the law. But the court said it would not issue a ruling until receiving the Supreme Court's judgment, which should happen by mid-July.

  • Indiana then submitted a request to have the Supreme Court move quickly to officially submit its judgment. The high court granted the state's request.

What we're watching: Indiana's governor has called for a special session that will take place on July 25, during which state lawmakers will decide on whether to ban abortions outright.

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