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Illinois Abortion Notification Law Upheld


The Illinois Supreme Court has paved the way for a long-dormant abortion law to finally go into effect.

The parental notification law was approved in 1995. But because of a long legal battle, it's never been enforced -- until now.

Beginning August 15, anyone aged 17 or younger will have to tell their parents before having an abortion — with exceptions for medical emergencies or cases of abuse.

Federal courts have long approved of such laws, but the American Civil Liberties Union was hoping the Illinois Supreme Court would find stronger abortion rights in the state constitution.

It didn't.

Anti-abortion groups cheered the decision. Bob Gilligan of the Catholic Conference of Illinois said that as surrounding states have tightened abortion laws, Illinois became a haven.

“We hope that, now that this law will go into effect in Illinois, we will see that trend stop,” Gilligan said. 

Gilligan said he's not worried about an attempt to repeal notification. He pointed out the General Assembly tried and failed a few years ago.

The ACLU said it's focused on counseling clinics and teens on how to deal with the law.

Brian Mackey covers Illinois state government and politics from the WUIS Statehouse bureau. He was previously A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. He can be reached at (217) 206-6020.