Court to Hear Arguments on IL Parental Notification Law
A Cook County, Illinois, Circuit Court will hear arguments today on a state parental notification law that has been stalled in the state since 1995. In November 2009 the Illinois Medical Disciplinary Board decided that the state parental notification law should go into effect, but briefly thereafter, Judge Daniel Riley granted a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of the law. According to Associated Press, Judge Riley will hear today's arguments.
The law in question mandated that physicians notify a young woman's parents at least 48 hours before performing abortions on women 17 or younger. The law includes a judicial bypass and does not require notice in cases of sexual abuse or if there is a medical emergency. Illinois law does not require that parents consent regarding the abortion, only their notification prior to the procedure.
The law originally passed in 1984 and was updated in 1995, but has been held up for years by legal challenges. A Chicago federal appeals court ruled in July that the law is constitutional. In its decision, the court described the law as "a permissible attempt to help a young woman make an informed choice about whether to have an abortion". The law was to go into effect on November 3rd. The anti-choice Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit in September with the Illinois Supreme Court that sought immediate enforcement of the law, but this request was not granted.
The order was granted as a result of a lawsuit filed in October 2009by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois on the behalf of the Hope Clinic for Women and Dr. Allison Cowett. This suit challenged the law's constitutionality and stated that "the Act severely restricts minors' access to abortion by requiring a physician to notify a parent, grandparent, step-parent living in the household, or legal guardian of a minor's intention to terminate her pregnancy and wait at least 48 hours before performing the abortion."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 11/6/10; Associated Press 3/15/10
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .