Illinois Parental Notification Law Reaches State Supreme Court
Arguments began yesterday over a 1995 Illinois state law requiring anyone 17 years or younger to notify a parent before seeking an abortion. The 17 year old law has yet to be enforced because of a string of multiple lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law.
Medical professionals who are represented by the ACLU are challenging the law by arguing that it violates Illinois' constitutional right to be free from gender discrimination and that the law is an invasion of privacy. The state defense supporting the bill argued that according to Illinois legal precedent there is not enough evidence to support a new legal case.
Lorie Chaiten, one of the ACLU lawyers challenging the law, told the Supreme Court that through the parental notification law "The state imposes harmful restrictions on those who seek abortions that it does not impose on those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term." Chaiten told reporters after the hearing "If the state can come up with a justification for putting young women in harm's way as this law does, then let them try to do so...But don't just simply say, 'That U.S. Supreme Court case from 1981 answers the question,' because it doesn't for us."
Media Resources: Huffington Post 9/20/12; RH Reality Check 9/20/12; San-Francisco Gate 9/20/12
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"Sex-Specific Medical Research: Why Women's Health Can't Wait" by researchers at the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Jacobs Institute at George Washington University Hospital finds that scientists still fail to account for differences between males and females. . . .