Right to counsel

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Legislation, Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor (Pre-Dobbs)

Delaware prohibits "physician[s] or other medically authorized person[s]" from performing an abortion on an unemancipated minor unless the provider gives "at least 24 hours actual notice" to the minor's parent(s) or other individuals listed in the provision. 24 Del.C. § 1783(1).  Alternatively, the referring physician or provider must certify that the required notice was given.  However, a minor may petition the Family Court to waive the notice requirement through a signed, verified writing. Id. at (2); 24 Del.C. § 1784(a).


If the application is denied, then "[a]n expedited appeal to the Supreme Court shall be available", and "[t]he Supreme Court shall advise the minor that she has a right to court-appointed counsel and shall provide her with such counsel upon request, at no cost to the minor." 24 Del.C. § 1784(e).



Note: Since the U.S. Supreme Court decision's in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, 142 S.Ct. 2228 (2022), the laws governing abortion are complicated and rapidly changing.  This major development may not be current since Dobbs.  For up-to-date information about the status of abortion by state, please see Center for Reproductive Rights, After Roe Fell: Abortion Laws by State.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes