Discretionary appointment of counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

RS 40:1061.14(B)(1) provides that a judicial proceeding for a minor to bypass the parental consent requirement for an abortion, "[T]he court may require the minor to participate in an evaluation and counseling session with a mental health professional from the Louisiana Department of Health, office of behavioral health, or a staff member from the Department of Children and Family Services, office of children and family services, or both."  Subsection (B)(4)(a) adds, 


If the minor has not been interviewed in such evaluation and counseling session prior to the ex parte hearing, such that the court does not have the benefit of the required report, then the court may appoint a certified child advocate attorney to be present with the minor at the ex parte hearing for the purpose of assisting the minor in communicating to the court whether her abortion decision is made with sufficient maturity and free and informed consent, commensurate with the duty of confidentiality.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes