Illinois Court Upholds Parental Notification before Abortion

A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled on Tuesday that an Illinois law requiring parental notification before abortions for teenage girls is constitutional. The law, which was originally passed in 1984 and updated in 1995, mandates that physicians notify the parents at least 48 hours before the abortions of girls 17 or younger.

The law does not require that parents give their consent regarding the abortion, only that they are notified. 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”.

Lorie Chaiten of ACLU Illinois, who fought against the law, told the Associated Press that the parental notification requirement “creates unnecessary, dangerous hurdles to accessing essential health care for young women facing unintended pregnancy in the state of Illinois”. It is unclear whether the ACLU will challenge the decision, but for now Chaiten says they will focus on counseling women who are faced with this new requirement, reported Chicago Public Radio.

According to the Chicago Tribune, unless critics of the decision are granted a stay by the three-judge panel of the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals, the law will go into effect within weeks.


Chicago Tribune 7/15/09, Associated Press 7/14/09, Chicago Public Radio 7/15/09

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