UPDATE, 2:30p: Well, it ain’t quite over. From the Thomas More Society:
In a surprise move this morning, the doctors of the Medical Board – some saying that they are not “babysitters” for the IL Courts – refused to extend their “grace period” against enforcement of the Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Legal Counsel for the Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation had tried to convince the doctors to extend the “grace period” for another 180 days. The doctors unanimously refused that request….
Robert Fernandez, a non-doctor member of the Board and an attorney for Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, tried to save the “grace period” by proposing that the Board extend for just 90 days. (The Sonnenschein law firm serves as outside counsel for Planned Parenthood of IL, the state’s largest abortion provider.) The doctors of the Board rejected that proposal, as well.
Now, all eyes turn to the Cook Co. Circuit Court, where at 3p.m. today, attorneys for the ACLU, the State of IL, and the Thomas More Society will face off on the ACLU’s attempt to read a broad right to abortion into the IL Constitution. The federal courts have already ruled that the Parental Notice Act is valid and constitutional under the US Constitution, and the IL Supreme Court has instructed that “our state courts are prepared to proceed to apply the law as enacted.”
(As an aside, persons manning the phones at the Governor’s office today are telling callers that the Parental Notice Act is in-force – some staffers have mentioned that the office has received “a ton” of calls from Illinoisans urging the Governor to uphold Parental Notice.)
UPDATE, 11:07a: Specifics on the law: One parent, step-parent, or guardian must be notified when a girl 17 or younger wants an abortion.
From the Associated Press, within the hour:
A vote by IL’s Medical Disciplinary Board has cleared the path for the state to start enforced a hotly debated abortion notification law.
The board met in Chicago on Wednesday and decided not to extend the grace period the IL Department of Financial and Professional Regulation put in place….
A spokeswoman says that means the law goes into effect immediately. It requires physicians to notify the parents or guardians of girls 17 or younger before the teens get abortions.
IL joins 35 other states with similar laws.
The law doesn’t require parental consent, only that the doctor give 48 hours notice before an abortion.
Well, yeah, finally! Wonder if IDFPR members didn’t want anyone poking into their business, as I reported on yesterday. Whatever, we’ll take it!
[HT: Suzie A.]