Judge Rules Against ACLU in Favor of Illinois’ Parental Notification Law

Rachel Larris

The Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act, first passed in 1995, which has never been enacted due to various legal challenges, cleared one legal hurdle this afternoon.

This afternoon Cook County Circuit Court Judge Daniel A. Riley granted a motion by the State of Illinois to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the ACLU against the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act.

The Judge also simultaneously placed a stay on implementation of the law so that that opponents of the law can appeal it.

The law was first passed in 1995 and has never gone into force because a restraining order was originally placed on implementation, followed by various legal challenges. The ACLU of Illinois challenged the law contending that “the Act poses a significant threat to the health and well-being of vulnerable teens in Illinois and violates the Illinois Constitution.” 

Colleen K. Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois released this statement:

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We will move swiftly to appeal Judge Riley’s ruling today. We believe that the Illinois Constitution does not permit a safe, legal medical procedure to be singled out for forced parental involvement, while pregnant minors are able to make other medical decisions (including cesarean section) on their own without parental involvement. Enforcement of this law poses a very real threat of physical violence and abuse for the minority of teens who do not tell a parent about an unplanned pregnancy.

Given the harm enforcement of this law poses to teens, we are grateful that the State of Illinois has agreed to continue the temporary restraining order during our appeal of today’s ruling. We will move swiftly on that appeal so that our case can be heard by the Illinois Appellate Court.

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