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Judge to Rule Soon on Illinois Parental Notification Law

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on March 16, 2010 12:45 PM

A judge will rule at the end of March on whether or not to dismiss the suit which has most recently prevented the Illinois parental notification law from taking effect. Cook County Judge Daniel Riley will announce his decision on March 29.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the law, passed in 1995, requires parents or guardians to be notified if a minor (17 and younger) is seeking an abortion. Since its passage, the law has never been in effect due to various legal actions. Last November, an Illinois medical disciplinary board decided the state should begin enforcing the law. In response, the Illinois ACLU filed a restraining order. The restraining order was linked to the suit filed by a Chicago doctor and a Granite City, Ill. women's medical clinic who believe the parental notification law would harm minors by preventing them from obtaining safe abortions or forcing them to carry pregnancies to term. Judge Riley granted the restraining order and the state filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

According to the Tribune, the ACLU says the law violates constitutional guarantees of privacy and due process and also violates the state law prohibiting discrimination based on gender. Defending the law for the state is Assistant Attorney General Thomas Ioppolo. In court on Monday, he argued that most surgical procedures on minors require parental input, and abortion should be no different.

ACLU lawyers disagree saying minors have the right to consent to other medical matters involving childbirth, and the decision to end the pregnancy should not be artificially distinguished.

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