The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that a New Hampshire abortion law should not have been struck down in its entirety simply because it lacked an exception for a pregnant minor’s health emergency.
The case had been eagerly awaited as the court’s first abortion ruling in more than five years. But the decision written by retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and approved unanimously by the court, did not create any new constitutional law on abortion rights.
“We do not revisit our abortion precedents today,” O’Connor wrote in what could he her last Supreme Court opinion. She sent the case back for more hearings.
The justices ruled lower courts were wrong to invalidate all of the New Hampshire law requiring parental notification for a minor to end a pregnancy and said a less drastic solution may be possible, such as barring enforcement of the parental notice requirement when there is an emergency.