Illinois Parental Notification on Abortion Sued by ACLU, Wants Law Overturned

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 12, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Parental Notification on Abortion Sued by ACLU, Wants Law Overturned

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 12
, 2009

Springfield, IL ( — Not content to run an operation that guides young women on how to avoid a parental notification law and have a secret abortion, the ACLU of Illinois has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the statute. The measure itself has been unenforced for years but was set to finally come into play this year.

The ACLU claims that having a teenage girl notify her parents that she wants to have a surgical procedure that would kill her unborn child and could possibly cause her medical and mental health problems presents "serious and irreversible
harm to teens."

The lawsuit, on behalf of Illinois abortion centers, says "most young women who seek abortions already involve their parents," which makes pro-life advocates in the state wonder why the ACLU would sue to overturn the parental involvement law.

The lawsuit cites emergency situations and gives examples of "teens whose
parents beat them, threw them out of the house, and/or forced them to become a parent against their will when they found out about the pregnancy."

However, the law already provides for a judicial bypass procedure whereby teenagers who face domestic violence concerns don’t have to involve their parents in the abortion decision.

The ACLU should know because it is already exploiting that aspect of the law.

Anna Clark at RH Reality Check, a pro-abortion blog, wrote recently that she is excited about how the Illinois ACLU is exploiting that loophole in the law to get abortions for any teenager who doesn’t want to tell their parents.

Leah Bartelt, the pro-abortion staff counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in Illinois, is among those who have teamed together to form The Illinois Judicial Bypass Coordination Project as a response to the state’s new parental involvement law.

Clark admits the ACLU will exploit the abuse provision.

"It is designed to not only protect the right of the judicial bypass, but to make it accessible to young women who might otherwise be daunted by dodging through the legal process on their own," she said.

In its legal papers, the Illinois ACLU claims "Illinois courts are not prepared to handle these cases," which makes it appear it will push so many teenagers into secret abortions that the court system will be overwhelmed.

A Texas version of the hotline found 469 minors from around the country called to get secret abortions with its help.

The Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 had been enjoined and
dormant since its passage by the Illinois General Assembly. This summer, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the permanent injunction.

The filing by the ACLU in state court challenges the law on state constitutional grounds and asks for an injunction to prevent the law from helping teens and their parents while the lawsuit moves forward in court.

The Hope Clinic for Women abortion center and Dr. Allison Cowett, the Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Reproductive Health are the plaintiffs named in the ACLU lawsuit. No teenagers or their parents are parties in the suit claiming to represent their interests.

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