Pennsylvania news organizations seek to unseal abortion case

Torsten Ove reports:

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and several other Pennsylvania newspapers filed a petition today to open a sealed state Supreme Court case that could potentially alter part of the state’s abortion law.

The case involves a 17-year-old who requested permission from an Allegheny County judge to have an abortion and was denied. Such “bypass petitions,” part of the Abortion Control Act of 1982, are designed to allow a minor to seek permission from a judge to have an abortion if she can’t get permission from her parents.

The teenager appealed to Superior Court, lost, and appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed in August to hear the case. No date has been set.

Read more in the Post-Gazette

Peter Hall of the Morning Call has more on the case. He reports, in part:

The newspapers’ petition notes the Superior Court has previously released an opinion dealing with the same subject matter in a 2003 case. In that case, the court protected the minor’s identity by using only her initials.

The newspapers acknowledge the importance of protecting the minor’s identity, and note that any identifying details could be removed from the records while providing the public with a more complete understanding of the courts’ decisions, the newspapers’ attorney says.

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