Following years of legal challenges, a state parental notification law, which requires physicians to notify a parent or guardian before a minor obtains abortion care, will take effect tomorrow in Illinois. In July, a federal appeals court in Chicago lifted a federal injunction on a 1995 version of the law, clearing it for enforcement. In August, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation granted doctors a 90-day grace period before the law would go into effect.

While parents rightly want to be involved in the decisions of their teenage daughters, good family communication cannot be legislated. Critics of the law note that most teenagers already involve their parents in their abortion decision, and that those who don’t often do so for compelling reasons such as incest or emotional or physical harm.

Learn more about parental involvement laws.

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