Illinois Judge OKs Parental Notification of Abortion

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CHICAGO, IL -- Monday in Cook County Court, a judge dismissed the case challenging the constitutionality of the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act, while imposing a stay of his decision for 60 days to allow the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) time to file an appeal. Attorneys from the Thomas More Society appeared as "friends of the court" today in Court as Judge Daniel Riley delivered his ruling.

"Today's ruling represents a great step toward ending underage secret abortions in Illinois. This written decision represents the first time an Illinois court has upheld the Parental Notice Act of 1995 against the ACLU's challenge," said Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel at the Thomas More Society. "We look forward to the day that abortion providers are made to respect the rights of parents to know before their daughters are taken for abortions."

The ACLU is expected to appeal. On appeal, the Thomas More Society will renew its request to intervene in the case to defend the contention that the Illinois Constitution does not include a right to abortion.

Thomas More Society attorneys conceived the idea to revive the dormant Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act in 2005 and led the successful effort to have the Illinois Supreme Court issue the required appeal rules in 2006. Since then, the Thomas More Society has fought to defend the law from attacks by the ACLU and other opponents, who attempted to defeat the law by arguing that the Illinois Constitution of 1970 included a strong right to abortion, even though abortion was virtually illegal in Illinois under the 1970 state constitution. Judge Riley ruled that the Illinois Constitution does include a right to abortion, but that parental notice is constitutional because the Illinois right is not broader than the federal right.