IL Supreme Court Will Not Hear Parental Notification Appeal

The Illinois Supreme Court announced yesterday that they will not hear an appeal related to a state law that requires parental notification 48 hours in advance for women 17 or younger obtaining an abortion. The law, which has never been implemented and has been stalled in the state since 1995, includes a judicial bypass and does not require notice in cases of sexual abuse or if there is a medical emergency. Illinois law does not require that parents consent to the abortion, only that they are notified. According to the Associated Press, the anti-choice Thomas More Society had filed a motion that sought to have the legal case regarding the law transferred from an appellate court to the state Supreme Court. The Thomas More Society had filed a lawsuit in September 2009, with the Illinois Supreme Court that sought immediate enforcement of the law, but this request was not granted. The law originally passed in 1984 and was updated in 1995, but has been held up for years by legal challenges. A Chicago federal appeals court ruled in July 2009 that the law is constitutional. In its decision, the court described the law as “a permissible attempt to help a young woman make an informed choice about whether to have an abortion”. In November 2009, the Illinois Medical Disciplinary Board decided that the state parental notification law should go into effect, but briefly thereafter, Judge Daniel Riley granted a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of the law. The order was granted as a result of a lawsuit filed in October 2009 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois on the behalf of the Hope Clinic for Women and Dr. Allison Cowett. This suit challenged the law’s constitutionality and stated that “the Act severely restricts minors’ access to abortion by requiring a physician to notify a parent, grandparent, step-parent living in the household, or legal guardian of a minor’s intention to terminate her pregnancy and wait at least 48 hours before performing the abortion.”


Associated Press 8/31/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/15/10

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