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Abortion, News, Parental Involvement, Statements

AUL Celebrates Victory in the 30-year Struggle to Protect Young Girls in Illinois

“Too often sexual predators try to cover their crimes by forcing their minor victims to obtain abortions,” said AUL’s General Counsel, Ovide Lamontagne. “Young women are entitled to adult counsel when considering either a chemical or a surgical abortion and all their implications.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (07-11-13) – Since the 1970s, Americans United for Life has partnered with Illinois advocates for life to protect the lives and health of Illinois women and girls. Today, in a case that stretches back decades, AUL celebrates the fact that young girls in Illinois will soon be protected by a state law requiring parental notification before obtaining an abortion. The Illinois Supreme Court’s rejection of the ACLU’s claims that the law is unconstitutional is a significant step in providing a common-sense approach to protect the health of young women.

The latest iteration of the law, enacted in 1995, has been enjoined for nearly two decades as both state and federal courts considered its constitutionality. In The Hope Clinic for Women, Ltd v. Flores, the Illinois Supreme Court today affirmed a lower court’s decision dismissing the ACLU’s challenge and paved the way for this protective law to go into effect in 35 days.

“The Illinois Supreme Court’s decision is a significant victory on many levels,” noted AUL’s General Counsel, Ovide Lamontagne. “It is a victory for young girls, who until now have been left unprotected and vulnerable to a largely unregulated abortion industry in Illinois. It is also a victory for parents, who can be assured that the predatory abortion industry can no longer perform abortion procedures on their daughters without their knowledge. And it is a victory for the unborn as research demonstrates that parental involvement laws decrease the abortion rate.”

“This decision also has significant implications for minors from other states as well. It is well-known that minors from Missouri frequently cross the state line into Illinois to avoid Missouri’s parental consent law. This is a landmark decision protecting minors all over the Midwest, as well as the rights of their parents.”

For decades, AUL has been actively involved in passing and later defending the Illinois parental notice law. In 1995, AUL attorneys helped to draft the challenged law, and, more recently, AUL filed an amicus curiae brief, available here, in the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of Illinois legislators, demonstrating that parental involvement laws decrease both abortion rates and birth rates among minors. AUL’s brief also detailed that chemical and surgical abortion procedures performed on young women carry significant physical and psychological risks, and that minors are particularly susceptible to these risks.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s decision marks the end of a more than 30-year struggle to protect young girls in Illinois, which now becomes the 40th state to require parental involvement before abortion.