Colorado Judge Bans Parental Notification Law

February 5, 1999 12:00 am

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ACLU News Wire: February 5, 1999 — Colorado Judge Bans Parental Notification Law


DENVER, CO — A federal judge issued an order blocking enforcement of Colorado’s new parental notification law, the Rocky Mountain News reported today. The order was eagerly awaited and a cause for celebration by the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and young women across the state.

The law would have required physicians to inform a minor’s parents of an intended abortion 48 hours before proceeding, or be subject to criminal or civil penalty under the law.

“We are delighted with the order,” said Louise Melling, Associate Director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “Now the constitutional rights of young women throughout the state are protected. They no longer face the threat to their health, safety, and ability to obtain an abortion that the law imposed.”

The suit, brought by the ACLU of Colorado, the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains on behalf of healthcare providers throughout the state claimed that the law was unconstitutional because, among other reasons, it endangered the health and lives of young women.

The law made no exception to its mandatory delay, even when an abortion was necessary to prevent harm to the woman’s health.

“The government cannot prevent doctors from providing emergency medical care that is necessary for young women whose health is at stake,” Mark Silverstein, Legal Director for the ACLU of Colorado said in a statement.

“Women should not be forced to gamble with their lives in this way.”

The order preventing enforcement of the act will remain in effect until a trial is held and a ruling made. It could be several months to a year before this happens.

Source: The Rocky Mountain News, February 5, 1999

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