[JURIST] Montana voters on Tuesday approved a referendum [text, PDF] that would require parental notification prior to an abortion for a minor. The measure, which was passed [LifeNews report] by 66 percent of Montana voters, would require abortion facilities and doctors to inform parents and legal guardians of minors under 16 48 hours before a planned abortion procedure. This requirement is not mandatory in case of medical emergency or if such notice is waived either by the minor in a sealed court proceeding or by parents. The new law would impose criminal prosecution and civil liability for violators. Also Tuesday Florida voters rejected [LifeNews report] proposed Amendment 6 [text, PDF] by a margin of 55-45 percent. The amendment would have prohibited public funds to be used “for any abortion or health-benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.” It specifically excluded situations of medical emergency, rape or incest.
Abortion continues to be a heavily debated issue nationally and internationally. On Monday the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] heard oral arguments [JURIST report] in Isaacson v. Horne [case materials] to consider a new Arizona abortion regulation [HB 2036 materials; JURIST report] that would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless there is a medical emergency. Last month the US District Court for the District of Arizona enjoined Arizona [JURIST report] from implementing a public funding law [HB 2800, PDF] that prohibits funding for health clinics that perform abortions. In October the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] condemned [JURIST report] Poland’s treatment of a 14-year-old rape victim who sought an abortion. The victim initially faced charges of unlawful intercourse by the Polish criminal justice system. The ECHR found violation of Article 8’s right to respect for private life when the girl was hindered in her attempts to obtain an abortion. Uruguay in September legalized [JURIST report] abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, subject to several conditions, by a vote of 50-49. In August South Korea’s constitutional court upheld [JURIST report] its abortion ban. Last year voters in Liechtenstein rejected a proposal [JURIST report] to legalize abortion in the country after the acting Head of State expressed displeasure with the law and threatened to veto the proposed change.