Court upholds Montana abortion notification law
March 31, 1997
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a pair of decisions on the abortion issue Monday, upholding a state parental notification law and rejecting an appeal by students who objected to paying for a health insurance program that covered abortions.
In the parental notification case, the nine justices unanimously reversed a lower court decision that struck down a Montana state law.
The Montana law requires that an unmarried minor notify one parent at least 48 hours before she has an abortion. A judge could grant a waiver of the requirement if convinced that the minor is mature enough to make the decision independently, or if she proves that notification would go against her best interests.
The justices said the lower court "was mistaken" when it overturned the law. Montana's law was similar enough to measures that had already passed the high court's scrutiny to be allowed to stand.
In the insurance case, the court without comment rejected an appeal by six former University of California-Davis students who argued that the schools' mandatory registration fee violated their free exercise of religion because part of it paid for a health plan that covered abortions.
Lawyers for the university argued before the court that citizens "do not have religious line-item veto power over government spending."
In other actions Monday, the court:
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