Illinois Pro-Life Advocates Want Parental Notification on Abortion Enforced Now

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 31, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Pro-Life Advocates Want Parental Notification on Abortion Enforced Now

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 31
, 2009

Springfield, IL ( — A pro-life legal group has filed a challenge against state officials in Illinois who have put off for 90 days a federal court order to began enforcing the state’s parental notification law on abortion. The law would allow parents to know when their teen daughters are requesting an abortion.

In July, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the federal injunction against the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act.

Then, in August, the Medical Disciplinary Board voted to give abortion practitioners more time to understand their obligation under the new state law and decided to give them a 90-day moratorium.

Tom Brejcha, the president of the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based pro-life legal group that sued to get the law to go into effect, says abortion practitioners have already had 14 years to prepare for the law and the grace period isn’t needed.

“Physicians who perform abortions in Illinois have had fourteen years to ‘get ready’ and ‘gear up’ to implement the law, more than enough time to comply with the law. This further delay is a clear usurpation of power and an affront to the people of Illinois," he said.

His pro-life legal group filed in the Illinois Supreme Court an original action for “writ of mandamus,” asking for the state high court to order the immediate enforcement of the notification statute.

The legal filing is directed at the board, the Acting Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, and the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation.

It asks the high court to "and negate their recommendation and order, handed down earlier this month, suspending enforcement of the Parental Notice Act for ninety days."

The Society alleges the officials acted without legal authority and in defiance of legally required procedures in unilaterally announcing the 90-day delay.

“The performance of an abortion upon a minor in Illinois without first notifying one of her parents is illegal,” Brejcha told today.

The law requires an abortion practitioner to notify one of the minor’s parents before an abortion is done on a minor girl unless a court grants a judicial bypass.

The legislature approved the law in 1995 but it took more than a decade for the Illinois Supreme Court to finally issue rules that the law requires for an appeals process for minors who want an abortion without telling their parents. Since that time, more than 50,000 Illinois teenagers have had abortions, including 4,000 who were 14 years-old or younger at the time of their abortion.

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.

Related web sites:
Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center –

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