Setback for Illinois Parental Notice Law

Federal Judge David Coar, of NOW v. Scheidler fame, ruled Friday that the Parental Notice of Abortion Act was still not ready to be enforced. The law, passed in 1995, was initially held up due to Coar’s insistence that the provisions for judicial bypass were not expressed clearly enough. He felt that unless the procedures for obtaining judicial bypass were crystal clear and dangerously easy, the law might keep some competent minors from getting their abortions because of bureaucratic red tape. Well red tape is exactly what ensued. This law, which Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center in Chicago described as “…defensible, constitutional law”, has been held up for well over a decade over details. Judge Coar placed an injunction on the law until the Illinois Supreme Court spelled out the procedures and then we waited. First it was the wait for the Illinois Supreme Court to spell out the judicial bypass procedures, then in was the wait for Judge Coar to approve them. He was urged to do so by Attorney General Lisa Madigan last summer and has been sitting on the case ever since. Now his honor has declared that the procedures passed by the Illinois Supreme Court are “contradictory and incomplete” and he still refuses to lift the injunction. Madigan’s office has said they are reviewing the case now and considering all options, including appeal. 35 states have laws similar to Illinois’s. They have been tried at the Supreme Court and found constitutional. 80% of Illinoisans support this law. There is absolutely no reason to wait any longer. This law needs to be enforced before more young women incur the emotional and physical pain of abortion without their parents’ knowledge.

ACTION ITEM: Ask Attorney General Madigan to appeal

Contact Attorney General Lisa Madigan and let her know that Judge Coar’s decision must be appealed and this law enforced as soon as possible. E-mail her office here or call one of the numbers below:

  • Lisa Madigan’s main office in Springfield: 217-782-1090
  • Lisa Madigan’s Chicago office: 312-814-3000

Read more in Sunday’s Tribune article here.

Share Tweet Email