Planned Parenthood Sues Over Indiana Law Requiring Parental Consent for Minors to Obtain Abortions

Posted: May 18, 2017 6:50 PM

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK), along with the ACLU, filed a lawsuit Thursday over a law that would take effect in July which requires abortion providers to obtain written consent from a legal guardian before an unemancipated minor can get an abortion.

Planned Parenthood claims that part of the new law preventing someone from assisting a minor to obtain an abortion without parental consent will prevent their organization “from advising its minor patients and persons seeking abortion services that they can travel to other states to obtain their abortions. The compelled silence demanded by the Act violates the First Amendment.”

Planned Parenthood also considers the parental consent requirement to have a “chilling effect on teenagers already dealing with a difficult situation,” according to Betty Cockrum, President and CEO of PPINK.

“We encourage teenagers to have open and honest conversations with their family members, but unfortunately not every teenager is in an environment where that is safe,” she added. “Patients should know all options regarding their pregnancies. It is blatantly unconstitutional and is entirely without compassion for vulnerable Hoosiers.”

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said before signing the legislation in April that he sees it “as a parental rights issue and responsibility and common sense."

The new law does give a minor who objects to obtaining parental consent the ability to petition a juvenile court to waive parental consent and notification if the court finds that to be in the minor’s best interests.

Planned Parenthood argued in their lawsuit that minors will be deterred from this because the court will inform the parents of the proceedings if their petition is denied.

Currently 37 states have parental consent or notification laws for minors obtaining abortions.