It has been 14 years and it will be at least a few more months before IL’s long-mothballed parental notification law for teens seeking abortions takes effect….
A Cook County Judge Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the law. That came after the state doctors’ disciplinary board green-lighted the law over the objections of its own lawyer.
Attorneys for the ACLU, representing an abortion clinic, fought the law all the way through the federal court system and lost.
Now they argue that IL’s constitution, which includes a right to privacy, grants even more abortion rights than the federal constitution, which has no explicit right to privacy.
An attorney for IL’s abortion-rights-supporting attorney general, Lisa Madigan, who is charged with defending the law, said the writers of IL’s 1970 constitution considered and rejected any laws recognizing or prohibiting a right to abortion. The state constitution is silent on the issue, Tom Ioppolo said.
But Judge Daniel Riley said he was persuaded enough by the ACLU’s arguments that he put the law on hold to give them time to argue their case – probably at least a few months.
“I find that the arguments of the plaintiffs do in fact raise a fair question of constitutionality,” Riley said. He agreed that the IL State Constitution’s explicit guarantee of the right to privacy could mean a different outcome than decisions reached in federal courts around the country that have upheld parental notification laws in most states.
By the count of the anti-abortion side, 44 states, including all the other states in the Midwest, have parental notification laws that have been upheld as constitutional. In 36 of those states, the law is enforced.
But ACLU Attorney Lorie Chaiten [pictured above left] argued that even in states that have had the notification law for years, young girls can be “abused, kicked out of their homes and left homeless” by some less-than-understanding parents.
The next hearing is scheduled November 19.
[Top photo via dollbabytina]