State appeals court’s abortion ruling for Alabama minors

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Federal judges on Tuesday will hear arguments of appeal for an Alabama abortion law that was reversed.

The overturned law allowed a judge to appoint a lawyer for the fetus of a minor mother seeking an abortion through a trial-like process.

Current law requires un-emancipated minors to have the permission of her parent or guardian to have an abortion. But in this case, the minor petitioned a juvenile court for a judgment waiving the requirement of parental consent to allow her to have an abortion.

This law allowed a judge in one case to appoint a lawyer for the minor’s fetus and authorized the district attorney to call witnesses to decide whether the minor was mature and well-informed enough to make the decision get an abortion, and that performance of the abortion would be in her best interest.

In 2014, a Montgomery abortion clinic sued the state claiming the process burdened the minor and violated her confidentiality, and in July of 2017, a federal judge struck down the law.

In September of 2017, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals said that the judge wrongly blocked the minor’s abortion. Saying that the judge misapplied the law and thus reversed the decision.

“The juvenile court’s judgment is reversed, and this court hereby renders a judgment granting a statutory waiver of parental consent,” read the opinion of the Court of Civil Appeals.

In response, the state in October appealed the court’s decision saying the regulatory law does not keep minors from getting abortions in their best interests.


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