Illinois Parental Notice Law Enforced for Six Hours

Joe Scheidler addresses the media

Just six hours after the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation had declined to extend the grace period on Illinois’ Parental Notice law, The ACLU went into Cook County Circuit Court, representing the infamous Hope Clinic of Granite City, IL and abortionist Allison Cowett, to request a Temporary Restraining Order against the law.

Lorie Chaiten, attorney for the ACLU Reproductive Rights Division argued that under the Illinois State Constitution the right to privacy guarantees the right to abortion regardless of a woman’s age. She also claimed that gender equality dictates that the state cannot prefer childbirth over abortion and that the notion that childbirth would be preferable is based on outdated stereotypes that women should be mothers.

Chaiten argued that pregnant girls are permitted to make other decisions, including decisions for minor children they already have, and therefore minor teens should not be required to communicate with their parents or seek a judicial bypass in order to get an abortion. According to Chaiten teen girls face abuse and rejection from their parents, causing irreparable harm.

Assistant Attorney General Tom Ioppolo argued for the State of Illinois that the Illinois Legislature should be respected for the thought that went into the 1995 Parental Notice Act. Ioppolo said that the Illinois Constitution was passed in 1970, prior to Roe v Wade, and that the privacy clause would have to be grossly misconstrued to claim that it guaranteed the right to an abortion.

Ioppolo pointed out that an abortion clinic counselor, who would spend an hour or less with a minor teen, would not have the same concern for the young woman as her parents would. He also pointed out that there may be medical concerns that parents are aware of that would be overlooked if they are left out of the decision to have surgery.

Judge Daniel Riley granted the Temporary Restraining Order, and set November 19 as a status hearing to consider whether to grant a Preliminary Injunction while the ACLU pursues its efforts to throw out Illinois’ Parental Notice law entirely. Riley also ruled that the Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center, Chicago, which attempted to intervene in the case, could not be heard at Wednesday’s Hearing, but will hear arguments from Tom Brejcha on November 19.

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