Justices said a lower court went too far by permanently blocking the law that requires a parent to be told before a daughter ends her pregnancy.
An appeals court must now reconsider the law, which requires that a parent be informed 48 hours before a minor child has an abortion but makes no exception for a medical emergency that threatens the youth's health.
ADDED: From the opinion:
When a statute restricting access to abortion may be applied in a manner that harms women's health, what is the appropriate relief? Generally speaking, when confronting a constitutional flaw in a statute, we try to limit the solution to the problem. We prefer, for example, to enjoin only the unconstitutional applications of a statute while leaving other applications in force or to sever its problematic portions while leaving the remainder intact….
In this case, the courts below chose the most blunt remedy -- permanently enjoining the enforcement of New Hampshire's parental notification law and thereby invalidating it entirely. That is understandable, for we, too, have previously invalidated an abortion statute in its entirety because of the same constitutional flaw. In Stenberg, we addressed a Nebraska law banning so-called "partial birth abortion" unless the procedure was necessary to save the pregnant woman's life. We held Nebraska's law unconstitutional because it lacked a health exception. But the parties in Stenberg did not ask for, and we did not contemplate, relief more finely drawn.
In the case that is before us, however, we agree with New Hampshire that the lower courts need not have invalidated the law wholesale. Respondents, too, recognize the possibility of a modest remedy: They pleaded for any relief "just and proper," and conceded at oral argument that carefully crafted injunctive relief may resolve this case.