Abortion
10:48 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Ill. Law Requiring Doctors To Notify Parents Of Girls Before Abortions Will Now Be Enforced

Updated 11:08 a.m., 12:42 p.m., 3:19 p.m. (with reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey)

A lengthy legal battle over an abortion notification law appears to be ending, clearing the way for Illinois to begin enforcing a 1995 measure requiring doctors to notify a girl's parents before she undergoes the procedure.

Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court ruling says the case shouldn't be reconsidered and has to be enforced - unless there's an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The law requires doctors to notify a girl's parents 48 hours before an abortion, unless she gets permission from a judge. It applies to girls 17 and younger.

The 1995 law was never enforced because of legal challenges. The ACLU sued, saying young women were capable of making medical decisions.

But anti-abortion activists argued parents were being denied basic rights if their children got abortions without their knowledge.

The ACLU of Illinois says the state's abortion notification law will go into effect in 35 days.

The organization represented the southeastern Illinois clinic and the director of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Reproductive Health in the case.

The ACLU says the measure "jeopardizes the health and safety of young women," and that the group will spend the next weeks working with health care providers and lawyers to counsel girls.

Bob Gilligan, with the Catholic Conference of Illinois, says as surrounding states have tightened abortion laws, Illinois has become a haven.

"We hope that, now that this law will go into effect in Illinois, we will see that trend stop," Gilligan said.

Gilligan says he's not that worried about an attempt to repeal notification — the General Assembly tried and failed a few years ago.

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