LOUISVILLE, January 19, 2011 ( – Out of state minors are permitted to obtain abortions in Kentucky without their parent’s knowledge or consent, an appeals court ruled in a sealed decision that was recently revealed by the Louisville Courrier-Jounral.

The appeals court overturned the decision by Jefferson District Court Judge David Bowles, who ruled that non-residents could not use Kentucky’s parental bypass law to obtain abortions in the state. The bypass law allows minors to obtain a court order permitting an abortion without their parents consent, and is required in accordance with a Supreme Court decision requiring states to include an exception to parental consent laws.

In a 2-1 decision, the court ruled that the wording of state law permitted “all minors” to avail themselves of judicial bypass for parental consent, and therefore Kentucky courts cannot refuse to hear such cases.

Dissenting from the decision of her colleagues, Judge Joy Moore of Burlington wrote that state judges do not have the right to make “any decisions regarding a minor from another state seeking an abortion without parental consent,” and called the ruling “troubling” because minors have no reason to use Kentucky courts instead of their own state courts.


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