Today, Nevada’s federal court was asked to lift its order barring enforcement of Nevada’s requirement that parents of minors seeking abortion be notified before any abortion. The request was made in a motion by Jason D. Woodbury, Carson City District Attorney, and Stephen B. Rye, Lyon County District Attorney. The case is Glick v. Ford

Nevada’s parental-notice law (NRS442.255) requires that a custodial parent or guardian be notified before a physician performs an abortion on an unmarried or unemancipated minor unless the physician believes “an abortion is immediately necessary to preserve the patient’s life or health.” But the minor may seek a judicial bypass, in which case notice would not be required if she proves (a) “she is mature enough to make an intelligent and informed decision; (b) she is “financially independent or emancipated,” or (c) the notice “would be detrimental to her best interests.” 

The Glick order should be lifted because it was based on a federal abortion right that no longer exists. In 1985, abortion providers Dr. Glick and Planned Parenthood of Washoe County sued to halt enforcement of the parental-notice law based on the abortion right announced in Roe v. Wade. But in the 2022 Dobbs decision, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe. So the order halting enforcement has lost its basis and should be lifted. 

Moreover, even under Roe, such parental-notification laws were permitted. In fact in 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court expressly rejected (in Lambert v. Wicklund (1997)) the opinion upholding Glick on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

James Bopp, Jr., of The Bopp Law Firm, PC, and counsel for district attorneys Woodbury and Rye, says: “Laws requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortion have long been upheld even under Roe v. Wade. With Roe overruled, there is no reason why Nevada’s parental-notification law should not be enforced. And notifying parents is vital to protecting both parents and their pregnant daughters.” 

Melissa Clement, Executive Director of Nevada Right to Life, says “an overwhelming majority of Nevadans support commonsense, time-tested parental involvement laws. Parents are the rightful decision-makers for their children’s medical decisions. It is time the courts restore parental rights.”

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