By Meaghan Pedati, Law Student
In 1995 a law was adopted that requires doctors of girls under 18 to notify their parent 48 hours before an abortion. In order to avoid telling her parents, a girl can appeal to a judge. Currently, 44 other states have similar laws; some even require consent from parents. But the 1995 Illinois law has never taken effect because of ongoing legal battles. The most recent dispute was initiated by opponents of the law who are seeking permission to bring a case to trial, again. This case, therefore, will not strike down or uphold the 1995 law; it will only allow or refuse to open the gates to more litigation.
This particular case comes from a physician claiming they have a right to a trial because of privacy protections afforded to them in the Illinois Constitution. The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, claims that the law treats minors differently by imposing restrictions on minors who want to have an abortion, as opposed to carrying their baby to term. Numerous federal and state court decisions have found that the law places no burden on the minors. The ACLU, however, maintains that the law endangers minors who may face harsh punishment from their parents and claims that abortions are the safe alternative. There is no indication when the court will make its decision on this case.