Federal judge refuses to allow Illinois abortion notification law to take effect

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Northern District Illinois [official website] has refused to dissolve an injunction barring the enforcement of Illinois' Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 [text], which would require physicians to notify the parents of minors seeking abortions at least 48 hours before performing the procedure. The court has repeatedly prevented the law from taking effect over insufficient rules on how appeals would be handled. The Illinois Supreme Court [official website] adopted the necessary procedures [text] in 2006, prompting Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan [official website] to request [press release; motion, PDF] that the court dissolve the injunction. The district court ruled Friday that the law was still "contradictory and incomplete." Madigan's office said Saturday that it was weighing its options on whether to challenge the decision, but opponents of the law [advocacy website] heralded what they hope to be the end of the statute.

Illinois is the only state in the region without an active parental notification law [JURIST news archive], and pro-life groups say minors from surrounding state travel to Illinois to undergo the procedure. Thirty-five states have enforceable parental notification or permission laws. In June 2007, the governor of New Hampshire signed into effect a repeal of the state's parental notification law [JURIST report], which never took effect. In 2006, voters in Oregon and California rejected statutes that would have required notification [JURIST report], although those measures allowed minors to request a judge to bypass the requirement. AP has more.



 

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