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Steven T. Marshall
Alabama Attorney General www.ago.alabama.gov

AG State Building

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Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 August 9, 2017

ATTORNEY GENERAL STEVE MARSHALL APPEALS FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT RULING AGAINST AMENDMENTS TO ALABAMA’S PARENTAL CONSENT LAW

(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed an appeal of a July 28, 2017, federal district court ruling that held unconstitutional the amendments enacted in 2014 to procedures for bypassing Alabama’s parental consent law.  The appeal was filed Tuesday before the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The federal court erroneously concluded that amendments to Alabama’s parental consent abortion law passed in 2014 undermine a minor’s right to anonymity and are therefore unconstitutional,” said Attorney General Marshall.  “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.

“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.”

 

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