Illinois Attorney General Wants Parental Notification Abortion Law Enforced

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 22, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Attorney General Wants Parental Notification Abortion Law Enforced Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 22
, 2007

Springfield, IL ( — Attorney General Lisa Madigan asked a federal court to enforce a law that requires abortion practitioners to notify parents that their teenage daughter is considering an abortion. The state Supreme Court approved the rules necessary to enforcement the law the legislature approved in 1995 but it must overturn a legal order against it.

Madigan files papers on Friday with the U.S. District Court in Chicago to let the law "take effect as soon as the Illinois courts are administratively prepared to handle judicial bypass petitions."

"As the chief legal officer of the State of Illinois, it is my duty to uphold the Constitution and to defend the laws of this state if they are constitutional," Madigan said, according to an AP report. "At this point, forty-four states have parental involvement laws, and courts have upheld many parental notice laws that are similar to the Act."

However, abortion advocates are challenging Madigan.

The pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union promised a legal challenge that could delay the pro-life law even further.

Lorie Chaiten, director of the Reproductive Rights Project for the ACLU’s Illinois chapter, told AP it doesn’t like the rules the state Supreme Court issued. They claim the rules make it too difficult for a teenager in an abusive situation to get permission for an abortion.

Teenagers can get a court-issued waiver of the parental notification requirement in abuse cases but the state’s high court didn’t issue rules on that saying it’s a matter for lower courts to decide.

Putting the law in place is important because abortion businesses have used the lack of parental involvement for years to lure teens from other states to their facilities for secret abortions.

Meanwhile, abortion advocates plan to file legislation in the next session of the state legislature to weaken the law further.

State Rep. John Fritchey, a Chicago Democrat, says navigating the judicial system is a difficult process for a young girl.

The bill would make more exceptions to the notification law, including medical emergencies, and would allow teenagers to avoid giving notification to a parent or guardian and give it to a clergy member instead. It would also allow teens to get counseling from a licensed medical professional who would certify the abortion without telling her parents.

Pro-life lawmakers told the Chicago Tribune newspaper they opposed the new bill.

"With all due respect to clergy, there will always be available one extremely liberal clergy member who all of the pro-choice groups will know will always approve the abortion," said state Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican.

State Rep. Terry Parke, a Hoffman Estates Republican who sponsored the 1995 law, agreed and said they it would only add to the ways parents would be left in the dark about their daughter’s abortion.