IL: Supreme Court to Revive Parental Notification Act

The Illinois Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will revive a 1995 act that will require parental notification for women under 18 seeking an abortion. The Parental Notice of Abortion Act was never enforceable in Illinois because the state Supreme Court at that time refused to establish rules for appeals in special circumstances, Associated Press reports. Now, however, only one of the seven justices who made that decision in 1996 remains on the court.

The law requires that a doctor must alert either a parent, grandparent, or stepparent living with the woman or the woman’s legal guardian at least 48 hours before an abortion is performed for a woman under 18 years old. There are exceptions if, for example, the minor has been sexually or physically abused by her parent; if the minor is “sufficiently mature; or if alerting a parent is not in the minor’s best interest,” the Chicago Tribune reports. “This is bad policy,” Lorie Chaiten, director of the Reproductive Rights Project for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, told the Chicago Tribune. “The vast majority of young women who are thinking about having an abortion do involve their parents. For those who don’t, they don’t for good reasons.”

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Chicago Tribune 9/19/06; AP 9/19/06

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