According to a news release, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed an appeal of the July 28 federal district court ruling against Alabama’s parental consent abortion laws. The court determined that amendments enacted in 2014 that require a minor seeking an abortion to acquire parental consent or go through a bypass court were unconstitutional. The court argued that the law undermines a minor’s right to anonymity.
In an appeal filed before the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Attorney General Marshall rebuffed the court’s argument, stating:
“The court ruling ignores the numerous protections afforded under Alabama law to a minor seeking approval for an abortion without parental consent.
In fact, changes made to Alabama’s parental consent law serve to strengthen the ability of bypass courts to obtain sufficient evidence in rendering a decision when a pregnant minor seeks an abortion without the consent of a parent. During these bypass proceedings, the minor’s right to confidentiality is preserved and the release of any identifying information is prohibited. Furthermore, parents or legal guardian participation is only allowed if they are ‘otherwise aware’ of the proceeding.”
The current standard regarding such laws as Alabama’s was established in 1992 in the Supreme Court Case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Supreme Court allowed states to pass certain anti-abortion regulations as long as they do not place an “undue burden” on pregnant women.
In it’s July 28 ruling, the court argued that the Alabama law’s restriction of anonymity indeed placed an “undue burden” on pregnant minors. However, Marshall maintains,
“Alabama’s parental consent law strikes a balance between protecting the privacy rights of a pregnant minor and the obligation of a bypass court to render a decision in the best interest of the minor’s well-being.”