U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Illinois Parental Notification Law

A U.S. Appeals Court ruled last week that an Illinois law requiring doctors to notify a parent or adult family member at least 48 hours prior to a minor obtaining abortion care is constitutional. The three-judge panel found that state Supreme Court rules, which establish judicial procedures for an expedited bypass hearing, satisfy minors’ constitutional rights to the procedure.

However, the appeals panel said it recognized that there may be “practical problems” with the judicial bypass process. “It may be intimidating for a minor to navigate the process of presenting her case to a judge, for instance,” U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Cudahy wrote for the court.

For a pregnant teen to use judicial bypass, she must not only find a judge, she must work her way through a confusing legal system and face intense and sometimes judgmental questioning. Judicial bypass can be an intimidating process that can cause delays in care, and put a young woman’s health at risk.

“This decision…creates unnecessary, dangerous hurdles to accessing essential health care for young women,” said Lorie Chaiten, director of the Reproductive Rights Project of the Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

>Learn about parental involvement bills in the states.

Share this Post