News

|

A Unanimous Supreme Court Decision on Abortion!?

Plus: Nagin apologizes, Calif. school will drop ID course, and other stories from online sources around the world.

Supreme Court: Court shouldn't have thrown baby out with bathwater (pardon the metaphor)
Just because New Hampshire's parental notification law "may be applied in a manner that harms women's health" doesn't mean it's all bad and should be thrown out entirely, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today.

The decision, written by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, was short and unanimous. That in itself is shocking, given the justices' significant differences on abortion issues.

But the Court's ruling is significant in other ways, too. The justices unanimously agreed that "states unquestionably have the right to require parental involvement when a minor considers terminating her pregnancy, because of their 'strong and legitimate interest in the welfare of [their] young citizens, whose immaturity, inexperience, and lack of judgment may sometimes impair their ability to exercise their rights wisely.'"

They also unanimously agreed that a state may not restrict access to abortions that are "necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for preservation of the life or health of the mother," and that "in some very small percentage of cases, pregnant minors, like adult women, need immediate abortions to avert serious and often irreversible damage to their health."

New Hampshire officials argued that the state law and other state regulations allowed for those immediate abortions. Lower courts disagreed and threw out the state's 2003 Parental Notification Prior to Abortion Act.

That's where the courts went wrong, the Supreme Court said. "Generally speaking, when confronting a constitutional flaw in a statute, we try to limit the solution to the problem," O'Connor wrote. "We prefer, for example, to enjoin only the unconstitutional applications of a statute ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Weblog
Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
Previous Weblog Columns:
September
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
close