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Illinois Politics and the ACLU: An Alliance Detrimental to Adolescent Health and Parental Rights

Minors in Illinois have been unprotected from the harms of abortion for decades.  The legislature passed a parental notice law in 1995, a law substantially similar to the 36 other state laws requiring either parental notice or consent.  But of course, the ACLU had to step in and challenge the law.  And until the Seventh Circuit (finally) lifted an injunction against the law this summer, the law had been unenforceable.

You would think that would be the end of it.

But instead, the ACLU filed a separate challenge last month in state court.  Same law, same attorneys, different court.  In any other area of law, it should be an open and shut case, the law has already been litigated, a court already issued its opinion, and the ACLU lost.  But this isn’t any other area of law; it’s related to abortion.

We knew the ACLU, and potentially the state of Illinois, was up to something sneaky.  That suspicion has been confirmed.

When the Seventh Circuit issued its opinion this summer, it gave abortionists 90 days to come into compliance with the new law.  That brings us to today, Tuesday, November 3, 2009.  The law should go into effect today.

However, it appears that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) may grant yet another delay to the abortionists.  On Friday, the IDFPR issued an extension to the abortionists until it meets on Wednesday to determine whether another delay will be allowed.

If granted, this delay could give the ACLU time to secure an injunction in its newly-filed case, the health and welfare of minors in Illinois would once again be in danger.  Contrary to the ACLU’s claims, parental involvement laws in other states work.  Minors and parental rights are protected.  There have been no reports of  “serious and irreversible harm to teens”  in other states where parental notice and consent laws have been in place for years.

We can hope that the state court will see through the antics of the ACLU and the IDFPR.  But we don’t want to underestimate the strategy of the ACLU in using Illinois partisan politics, and what an alliance between the two might mean.