Illinois Judge Stops Parental Notification Law

Illinois Judge Stops Parental Notification Law

teenAbortion proponents are working once again to deny parental rights and override the legitimate will of the people through judicial activism.

The ACLU of Illinois has filed suit against a law requiring doctors to notify the parents of underage girls 48 hours before performing an abortion. The ACLU is representing Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City and Allison Cowett, the director of the University of Illinois at Chicago‘s Center for Reproductive Health, who are seeking a permanent ban on the law and full reimbursement of legal fees.

They charge that the law is unconstitutional and would do “significant and irreversible harm” to minors unable to get safe abortions. The formal complaint went so far as to claim that minors “will be beaten or thrown out of their homes when their parents learn of their pregnancy and planned abortion.”

“We believe that government cannot and should not mandate this communication,” said the spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood. “Most teens do seek their parents’ advice and counsel … but in some cases safe and open communication isn’t possible.”

The law being challenged has been in place since 1984 and was updated in 1995, but it has been unenforceable due to perpetual legal challenges. This July, a Chicago federal appeals court finally ruled that the law is constitutional and scheduled it to finally take effect on Nov. 3. The court defended its decision describing the law as “a permissible attempt to help a young woman make an informed choice about whether to have an abortion.”

Then, Wednesday, hours after a state board voted to allow enforcement of the law, Judge Daniel Riley issued a temporary restraining order acknowledging the argument of the ACLU and putting the measure on hold once again. He claimed the ACLU “demonstrated the distinct possibility of irreparable harm” if the law were enforced.

However, if enforced the law would go a long way to protecting young woman confronted with a life-altering decision and the rights of parents to be involved in the medical and moral decisions of their children. The law also provides sufficient protection from the “significant and irreversible harm” cited by the ACLU, as the law does not require notification in cases of medical emergencies or sexual abuse. Furthermore, the law does not require guardians to actually provide permission for abortions; they must simply be notified.

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