At last, Illinois supreme court agrees to hear arguments in long-stymied parental notification law

Sixteen years ago, the Illinois Legislature enacted a law requiring a parent or guardian to be notified 48 hours before a child under 18 has an abortion. This reasonable requirement still hasn’t been enforced because pro-choice radicals like the American Civil Liberties Union have for years tied the law up in the courts, defying the will of the people.

Now, finally and at last, the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments about whether the law violates the state constitution.

The decision is more than just an unwelcome development for anti-life extremists, like the ACLU, but a victory for the rule of law that has been stymied by more than a decade of abuse. Here’s a short review provided by the Thomas More Society, which has been fighting for many years to see justice finally done:

  • In 1995, the General Assembly enacted the Parental Notice of Abortion Act, which requires a parent or guardian to be notified 48 hours before a child under 18 has an abortion.
  •  In 1996, a federal district court permanently enjoined the act because it lacked a confidential appeal and bypass rule providing a way for minor girls to obtain an abortion without their parents’ knowledge in exceptional cases. And why was no rule promulgated? The Illinois Supreme Court astonishingly, unconscionably and contrary to the public had will refused to promulgate it.
  • In 2006, on a motion of Thomas More Society, the Illinois Supreme Court finally issued the required appeal and bypass rule. That started a new round of litigation brought by the ACLU.
  • In 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a federal constitutional challenge to the Act. Still not satisfied, an abortion clinic and a physician who performs abortions challenged the law on state constitutional grounds.
  • In March 2010, the Circuit Court of Cook County upheld the Act.
  • In 2011, the Illinois Appellate Court reversed and remanded the decision back to the circuit court on state constitutional grounds. The Appellate Court did not resolve the ultimate legal issues raised in the case, even though those issues were fully briefed in both the trial and appellate courts.

This has been an astonishing obstruction of the public will by the blatantly political use of the court system by the ACLU and others. Never mind that parental notification laws have long been supported by the majority of Americans and have been upheld by the courts in other states. But the ACLU and other anti-life zealots would have everyone believe that they were a sinister plot to return America to the times of dangerous back-alley abortions.

The Illinois law more specifically requires an unemancipated minor, with certain exceptions such as medical emergencies, to notify one of her parents, her legal guardian, a stepparent residing in the same household or a grandparent of her intention to obtain an abortion. The law only requires notice, not parental consent.

The Thomas More Society represents two Illinois state’s attorneys who are trying to intervene in the case and more than 20 state’s attorney who have filed a friend of the court brief in the appellate court. Paul Linton the society’s special counsel, welcomed the high court’s decision to review the law, saying it “ensures that there will be a prompt resolution of the law’s constitutionality….The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the vital interests that the states have in protecting pregnant minors and the rights of their parents to provide guidance and counsel in this very sensitive area.”

He noted that similar laws in other states “have been associated with significant declines in the numbers of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, births and abortions among minors.”

In a statement, Lorie A. Chaiten, director of the ACLU of Illinois Reproductive Rights Project asserted: “The Illinois Supreme Court long has recognized that Illinois’ constitution protects the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy. We are confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the Illinois Appellate Court’s ruling recognizing the serious constitutional issues raised by the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act and that the Illinois Supreme Court like the Appellate Court, will return this case to the trial court for a complete presentation of the evidence demonstrating that the real-life harms this law imposes cannot be justified.”

If you ask me, the “real-life harm” to which she refers is a drop in the abortion business by such “providers” as Planned Parenthood. The real life harm she ignores is the damage that a minor’s abortion has on her, her family and (dare we mention?) the unborn child.

Note: As of this posting, this story has not been covered by the mainstream press.

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