Illinois Enforces Parental Notification Law

Elisabeth Garber-Paul

After 14 years of legal battles, a law in Illinois requiring girls 17 and under to notify their parents of the choice to have an abortion will soon actually be enforced.

After 14 years of legal battles, a law in Illinois requiring girls 17 and under to notify their parents of the choice to have an abortion will soon actually be enforced.

While the law does not require consent from the parent—just notification at least 48 hours in advance—the decision has stirred both sides of the abortion issue.

“Anti-abortion activists applauded the appeals court’s decision as a long-overdue victory,” wrote the Chicago Tribune yesterday, “while opponents of the law said the measure was guaranteed to usher in dangerous problems.”

Pro-lifers see this as a necessary precaution to make sure that young girls don’t put themselves in harm’s way at an early age, without the consult of their parents. However, pro-choice advocates see that this is just another step to prevent women taking advantage of their right to an abortion.

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Chicago Public Radio reported that Lorie Chaiten, with ACLU Illinois, believes it denies necessary treatment to those who are entitled to it.

“Well, we’re quite disheartened, obviously, by the ruling. We think that it creates real harm for young women who are seeking to access essential healthcare in the face of an unintended pregnancy.”

This decision comes after Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed laws this week mandating a 24-hour waiting period and parental consent, according to Femenisting, as well as strengthening the ban on late-term abortion.

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