The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday finally approved the Parental Notice of Abortion Act, filed originally in 1995. The law requires parents or guardians of a girls under 18 who are seeking an abortion to be notified.
Illinois lawmakers passed the original parental notification act in 1983, but a group of abortionists and would-be abortionists filed suit, challenging its constitutionality. The court ruled that law unconstitutional. In 1995, lawmakers again passed a parental notification act, but this time the ACLU filed a challenge, stalling the act once again.
After years of debate and more changes to the legislation, the ACLU claimed it still violated the Illinois constitution, citing a clause that protects individuals against “invasions of privacy or interceptions of communications.” The group said the clause guaranteed a right to have an abortion without parental notification.
The Illinois Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the case again. This time it rejected the plaintiff’s argument, pointing out a statement from privacy clause creators: “All we are saying, without spelling out in detail, is that a halt ought to be called somewhere to these invasions of privacy. … The individual ought not to be completely at the mercy of the state.”
Beginning next month, parents or guardians of minor girls seeking an abortion in Illinois must be notified.
The act gives parents the ability to help their daughters through the stress of an unplanned pregnancy, and gives protection for young girls who become pregnant. The man who impregnated her is often an influential person in a young girl’s decision to abort. Without family involvement, a girl often has little balance or support under pressure to kill her baby. According to pro-life attorneys from the Thomas More Society, thousands of non-resident minor girls crossed into Illinois, “often accompanied by the adults who impregnated them, to evade their own state’s parental notice or consent laws.”
The society’s friend-of-the-court brief, quoting the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said, “Minor girls who abort face grave physical and psychological risks.” It said the girls are “better able to assess those risks with the consultation of a parent or guardian.”