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AUL files brief supporting Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (11-19-10) – Americans United for Life premier legal team filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of eight Illinois legislators, supporting the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act and urging the First District appellate court to uphold the law, now 15 years in legal limbo.

“This group of Illinois lawmakers has taken an important stand on behalf of parental rights. When a child is considering a potential chemical or surgical abortion, the parents have a right to know,” said AUL Staff Counsel Mailee R. Smith.  “Parental involvement decreases both teen pregnancy and teen birth rates, and it is tragic that legal wrangling has prevented parental involvement in a situation where it is so essential.”

In 1995, the Illinois General Assembly enacted the Act, which requires parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion. The Act has been enjoined in litigation since that time.  After the federal courts ruled that the Act could go into effect, the ACLU filed yet another challenge in state court on behalf of the Hope Clinic for Women (Granite City) and abortion provider Allison Cowett. The state trial court ruled in favor of the law, but stayed enforcement of the law pending appeal.

The ACLU then appealed to the First District appellate court and claimed that there is “no justification” for the General Assembly’s action in enacting the law. In its brief, AUL refutes that claim, demonstrating that there are numerous studies revealing that parental involvement laws decrease both minor abortion and birth rates. AUL also details the plethora of studies demonstrating that abortion harms women- and especially minors- both physically and psychologically, and that parental involvement laws help shield minors from sexual exploitation.

The amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of Senators Tim Bivins (Dixon), William R. Haine (Alton), and Matt Murphy (Palatine), and Representatives Robert A. Biggins (Elmhurst), Robert W. Pritchard (Hinckley), David Reis (Sainte Marie), Jim Sacia (Pecatonica), and Jil Tracy (Quincy).  The brief is available here.