Illinois Parental Notification Abortion Law Ruled Invalid by Federal Judge

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 4, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Parental Notification Abortion Law Ruled Invalid by Federal Judge Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 4
, 2008

Springfield, IL ( — Courts continue to prevent the enforcement of a 1995 parental notification law on abortion as a federal judge has issued a decision refusing to life an injunction on it. The lack of a parental involvement law has encouraged teenagers in cities in neighboring states, such as St. Louis, to go across the border for secret abortions.

The law had been on hold since the legislature passed it in 1995 because the state Supreme Court hadn’t approved the administrative rules for it.

Abortion advocates had filed a lawsuit against the notification requirement to block parents from knowing about their teen’s abortion decision until the rules were completed.

The state’s high court finally completed action on the law in September 2006 and, in January 2007, Attorney General Lisa Madigan asked a federal court to enforce the law.

However, in February 2007, U.S. District Judge David Coar kept a previous legal order against it in place despite the new high court rules. He said the state can’t put the law in place yet because the rules haven’t been implemented in all 102 counties.

Judge Coar did not rule on the constitutionality of the parental notification law and he told Madigan that she could try to enforce it again once the implementation process is completed.

In his new decision last week, Judge Coar said the new rules allow a judicial waiver for a minor to get around the notification requirement in abuse causes, but he said they rules don’t make it clear how it can be done.

"The statute is contradictory and incomplete on its face," Coar said, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

On Monday, Madigan spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler told the newspaper that Judge Coar "rejected all of the ACLU’s challenges but one," and added that Madigan was considering an appeal.

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.