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Federal appeals court upholds Ohio abortion counseling provision

[JURIST] The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] Monday upheld [PDF text] an Ohio regulation requiring a women to meet with a doctor 24 hours prior to an abortion procedure but reversed a District Court ruling [JURIST report] that had sustained a provision limiting minors to one chance of a judicial waiver from the state's parental notification requirement. The appeals court determined that allowing minors only one attempt during a pregnancy to petition for judicial bypass placed an undue burden on women, violating the due process clause [text] of the US Constitution. Requiring a meeting with a doctor prior to an abortion, however, was not an undue burden even though it could delay abortions up to two weeks. AP has more.

In November 2005 the Indiana Supreme Court upheld [JURIST report] a law requiring women seeking an abortion in Indiana to undergo counseling about medical risks and abortion-alternatives and wait at least 18 hours after the session before obtaining an abortion. In October this year, the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction [JURIST report] against a 2005 South Dakota law requiring doctors in that state who perform abortions to tell women that abortion ends the lives of "human beings." According to the Guttmacher Institute [advocacy website], a nonprofit group that researches reproductive health issues, more than 30 states now require women to attend "counseling" sessions prior to an abortion procedure.

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