Illinois Parental Notification on Abortion Law Heads Back to Court Today

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 14, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Parental Notification on Abortion Law Heads Back to Court Today

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 14
, 2009

Springfield, IL ( — In Illinois, pro-life advocates have waited for years for a parental notification on abortion law to finally be enforced and a pro-life law firm is heading to court today to make sure that happens. The Thomas More Society will argue before the Federal Seventh Circuit to defend the measure.

The pro-life attorneys will join Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Solicitor General to defend the law in court.

The hearing will cover whether the federal injunction against enforcement of the parental notification law, approved by the legislature in 1995, should be continued in effect.

The Illinois Supreme Court finally issued rules that the law requires for an appeals process for minors who want an abortion without telling their parents. With those rules in place, Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, says the law should now go into effect.

He said the federal courts only barred enforcement of the law because the Illinois Supreme Court initially refused to issue those rules.

"We are anxious to press this appeal because we believe that the enforcement of this law, enacted well over a decade ago, is very overdue and should be delayed no longer," he told

"Polls show that up to 80 percent of Illinois citizens support parental notice for abortion, which is serious invasive surgery, and indeed parental consent is required by law before school nurses may even administer aspirin to minor students," Brejcha added.

"Illinois is the only Midwestern state where parental notice is not required and child predators routinely bring minors from other states here for abortions without their parents’ knowledge, let alone consent," he added. "It’s high time this anomalous, flagrant injustice was brought to an end."

In 1995, the Illinois legislature passed the law that a parent or guardian should be notified 48 hours in advance of an abortion on a minor teen.
Illinois has become a haven for abortions on teenagers in other states and was one of the reasons Congressional lawmakers put forward a bill that would stop adults from taking teenagers out of state for secret abortions.

From 1995-2004 almost 40,000 abortions were performed on Illinois minors and thousands more abortions were performed in Illinois on non-resident minors who were allowed to avoid their home state parental involvement laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld states’ rights to require parental involvement in 2006 when it held hearings on a New Hampshire law.

“States unquestionably have the right to require parental involvement when a minor considers terminating her pregnancy," Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote.

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