Illinois Parental Notification Law on Abortion Gets Appeal, Help From Pro-Life Firm

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 15, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Parental Notification Law on Abortion Gets Appeal, Help From Pro-Life Firm Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 15
, 2008

Springfield, IL ( — A leading pro-life law firm has come to the aid of Illinois’ parental notification law on abortion after a federal judge said new rules on the judicial waiver don’t make it clear how teens could use the process. The waiver is intended only for cases when teenagers are concerned about abuse from their parents when telling them of the intended abortion.

The state legislature initially approved the law in 1995 and courts have blocked it ever since.

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 was initially on hold 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.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge David Coar issued his most recent ruling saying the rules are confusing.

"The statute is contradictory and incomplete on its face," Coar said.

A spokesman for Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Madigan was considering an appeal.

However, the Thomas More Society tells it has filed motions asking for Judge Coar to reconsider his decision because the pro-life law firm worried Madigan will not appeal.

TMS says Judge Coar based his decision against the parental notification law on its lack of a consent provision. However, the firm says the required consent provision is provided by another statute, the Illinois "Consent by Minors to Medical Treatment Act," which was not cited in the court’s decision or by Madigan.

Ironically, Madigan filed an appeal notice on Thursday as well after not answering repeated requests from TMS and pro-life groups about her intentions.

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.

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