updated 12/29/2003 7:03:04 PM ET 2003-12-30T00:03:04

Two days before it was to take effect, a federal judge Monday declared unconstitutional a state law that would have required parental notice before a minor could get an abortion.

U.S. District Judge Joseph DiClerico said the measure did not adequately address cases in which a girl might need an immediate abortion to protect her health.

“We won,” said Martin Honigberg, a lawyer for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, which along had sued to block the law with other opponents.

Republican Gov. Craig Benson and other supporters of the measure said they would appeal the ruling or rewrite the law. “I believe it is the responsibility of parents, not the government, to raise their children,” Benson said.

The law would have required abortion providers to notify at least one parent at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor. Approval from the parent would not be necessary.

A girl could instead ask a judge for permission, which the judge would have to grant if the girl was mature enough or the abortion was deemed to be in her best interest.

Similar laws have been struck down in other states.

Over the summer, the Florida Supreme Court struck down a version there, saying the law violated privacy rights guaranteed by the Florida Constitution.

A federal appeals court in Denver last year ruled that a similar Colorado law was unconstitutional because it provided no exceptions for health emergencies.

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