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New Hampshire legislature overrides governor's veto of abortion notification bill

The New Hampshire legislature voted Wednesday to override the governor's veto and approve legislation [HB 0329 text] requiring healthcare providers to notify parents or a judge 48 hours before performing an abortion [JURIST news archive] on a minor. Governor John Lynch [official website] vetoed the bill last week [press release], but it was passed [AP report] by a vote of 266-102 in the House of Representatives and 17-7 in the Senate [official websites]. While the bill includes an exception in the case of a "medical emergency," Lynch said he was "troubled by the lack of an exception for the victims of rape, incest and abuse."

The bill, to take effect January 1, passes just days after an Illinois appeals court ordered a lower court [JURIST report] to determine whether a similar law requiring a girl's guardians to be notified before she has an abortion should be enforced. The New Hampshire bill is the latest in a variety of abortion-related legislation this year. Last month, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] challenging a South Dakota law requiring women to seek counseling at a pregnancy center and wait three days before obtaining an abortion. Earlier that week, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a pair of bills [JURIST report] that restricted state funding for abortions and banned them altogether after 20 weeks. Also in May, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill that requires women seeking an abortion to first get a sonogram [JURIST report]. Multiple states have acted to ban abortions after 20 weeks, when some studies suggest a fetus can begin feeling pain, including Missouri, Indiana, Alabama, Ohio, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas and Idaho [JURIST reports].

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