Ill. Court Backs Abortion Parent Notification Law

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The Illinois Supreme Court has upheld a law that requires doctors to notify parents of underage girls seeking an abortion.

"We conclude, therefore, that our Parental Notice Act furthers a 'constitutionally permissible end' by encouraging an unmarried, pregnant minor to seek the help and advice of a parent or other adult family member in making the very important decision whether or not to bear a child," the court ruled.

Quoting the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Anne M. Burke wrote, "The State has a strong and legitimate interest in the welfare of its young citizens, whose immaturity, inexperience, and lack of judgment may sometimes impair their ability to exercise their rights wisely."

The law first passed in the state in 1995 but never took effect.

The decision clears the way for the state to enforce it after two decades of court battles.

The law states that a parent or guardian would have to be notified at least 48 hours before an abortion is performed on a minor.

The Thomas More Society, a conservative national public interest law firm, defended the law, arguing that it's constitutional and that other states have upheld similar laws.

"If you ask the parent of a 13-year-old, 'Would you want your child taken for an abortion without you knowing?' they are going to say no. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice this measure makes sense," Peter Breen, an attorney with the firm said.

The law goes into effect in 35 days.

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