History of Parental Notification in Illinois [Part 1]

parental notification supreme court illinoisHere is a (very) quick summary of the history of the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995. Thanks to the Thomas More Society for the information and all of their work on this case!

Enacted in 1995, the parental notice law was in legal limbo for over a decade until, on September 20, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted a rule, constitutionally required under federal law, providing for expedited, confidential “bypass” appeals. Once the new Rule 303A was adopted and after further litigation, on July 14, 2009, the United States Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the Act and the Illinois Supreme Court’s implementing rule. A few weeks later, when the Court of Appeals issued its mandate, the Parental Notice Act became fully effective and enforceable.

Yet, on August 4, the members of the Illinois State Medical Disciplinary Board, which is responsible for enforcing the Parental Notice Act against physicians who willfully violate it, issued a recommendation that the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation suspend enforcement of the law for ninety days, beginning on August 5, 2009. The only stated reason was to give physicians more time to comply with the law. The very next day, this recommendation was adopted by the Acting Secretary of the Department and the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation.

In October of 2009, the Thomas More Society intervened, on behalf of State’s Attorneys Stewart Umholtz of Tazewell County, Edward Deters of Effingham County, and Raymond Cavanaugh of Henderson County to defend the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act from the ACLU’s attacks. The ACLU had brought suit in Illinois state court to block the Act, after loosing their bid in federal court to stop the Act from going into effect earlier that year…. More to come.

Come back for Part 2 of your history lesson on Parental Notice.