Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion
New Hampshire law restricts young women's access to abortion.
Is the law enforceable? Yes. It has not yet been challenged in the courts.
Who is considered a minor? A young woman under the age of 18 who has never been married and is not emancipated under state law.
What is required - parental consent or parental notice? Notice.
Who must be notified? One parent, guardian, or conservator.
Are there other trusted adults who may be notified instead? No.
What is the process for providing notification? A young woman may not receive abortion services until at least two business days after written notice has been delivered personally or sent by certified mail. If notice is given by certified mail, time of delivery shall be at noon the next day that regular mail delivery occurs.
May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a survivor of rape or incest? No.
May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a survivor of child abuse? No.
May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman's health is threatened? Yes, but only if the provider certifies in the woman's medical record that a medical emergency exists. A medical emergency is defined as "a condition that, on the basis of the physician's good-faith clinical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of the pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion... to avert her death or for which a delay will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."
May the parental mandate be waived under any other circumstances? Yes, the young woman may try to obtain permission from a judge.
If a young woman must obtain permission from a judge, what is the process? She must petition the court for a waiver. Then, upon the petition, motion, or after an appropriate hearing, any judge of a "competent jurisdiction" shall authorize the physician to provide abortion services if the judge determines that the young woman is "mature and capable of giving informed consent" for the abortion. The young woman may participate in the court proceedings on her own behalf and the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for her. The court will also inform the young woman that she has a right to counsel and will provide counsel upon request.
Are there other significant requirements under the law? No.
Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law? No.
Other information about the law: None.
N.H. Rev. St. § 312:32-132:36 (Enacted 2010; Last Amended 2012).