The Reproductive Rights Alliance (RRA) has been admitted as an amicus curiae - or friend of the court - in a new challenge to the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act by the Christian Lawyers' Association (CLA). This means that when the case is heard in court on July 31, the RRA will be allowed to join the state and introduce arguments to support the state's contention that the CLA's case has no basis in law.
The CLA is challenging the right of adolescents under 18 years of age to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. It argues that because the law does not legally require an adolescent to seek the consent of their parents, this is a violation of children's rights. Although the Act encourages minors to seek the counsel of parents, family or friends, it does not compel an adolescent to do so. Having failed to challenge the entire Act, in a legal bid launched in May 1997, the CLA has decided to target provisions in the Act that it finds objectionable.
The RRA was a friend of the court in 1998 when the CLA unsuccessfully challenged the constitutional basis of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act and was instrumental in advocating for its enactment in 1996. (Source: Health-e, 19 July 2001)