Indiana pushes U.S. Supreme Court on parental consent for abortions

By Pedro Oliveira Jr.
Abortion-rights activists and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund hold a demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 30. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
1 of 3 | Abortion-rights activists and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund hold a demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 30. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

July 14 (UPI) -- Indiana on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the state to immediately enact a law requiring parental consent for a minor to get an abortion.

The measure was first blocked in 2017, when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it ran afoul of precedent on nationwide abortion rights. It would require anyone under age 18 to notify a parent or guardian, or to obtain permission from a juvenile court, to obtain the procedure in Indiana.


But since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade in late June, state officials want an official go-ahead to enforce the measure.

The case remains stalled at the 7th Circuit, where formal notice from the Supreme Court's judgment is expected by July 25.

"Given that the preliminary injunction is without legal basis and that it is inflicting irreparable harm to important state interests, there is no reason to delay transmittal of this court's judgment," Thomas Fisher, Indiana Solicitor General, wrote in court papers filed Thursday.

"Delay would only serve to prevent enforcement of a duly enacted state law designed to protect minors, families and the unborn," Fisher added.


The move by Indiana officials comes as the state grapples with the controversy surrounding the case of a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio who traveled to Indianapolis for an abortion.

The child's mother reported the pregnancy on June 22 to the Franklin County Children Services, which turned the case over to Columbus police. She underwent the medical procedure on June 30, the Indy Star reported.

On Tuesday, prosecutors in Ohio charged 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes with first-degree rape.

Fuentes allegedly admitted to police that he raped the child at least two times, according to the Indy Star. He is being held on a $2 million bond.

The child's story rose to international attention after President Joe Biden highlighted the case in criticism of the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe vs. Wade.

"Imagine being that little girl," Biden said Friday. "I'm serious. Just imagine being that little girl."

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita on Wednesday said the obstetrician-gynecologist who performed the procedure is an "abortion activist acting as a doctor."

"We're gathering the information," Rokita told Fox News. "We're gathering the evidence as we speak, and we're going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure. If she failed to report [the rape] in Indiana, it's a crime for -- to not report, to intentionally not report."


The physician, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, said her "heart breaks for all survivors of sexual assault and abuse."

"I am so sad that our country is failing them when they need us most," Bernard wrote Wednesday on Twitter. "Doctors must be able to give people the medical care they need, when and where they need it."

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