Ill. Supreme Court upholds abortion restrictions

July 11, 2013 at 3:51 PM
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill., July 11 (UPI) -- The Illinois Supreme Court Thursday unanimously upheld a state law requiring parents of a minor to be notified before an abortion can be performed.

The Hope Clinic for Women Ltd. filed suit in Chicago in 2009 challenging the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, alleging it violates patient privacy, as well as the due process, equal protection and gender equality clauses of the state Constitution. The law was enacted to replace a 1983 act that was declared unconstitutional in the federal courts.

The suit charged the law, which had been blocked by a court order until 2006, imposes an "unjustifiable burden" on a minor's "fundamental right by preventing her from obtaining an abortion in Illinois." The court, however, found that while minors have constitutional rights, "the rights of minors are not co-extensive with the rights of an adult."

The court also noted there also is the question of parental rights, that parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit.

Thursday's decision upheld a lower court dismissal of Hope Clinic's suit against the law, which requires parents be given 48 hours notice before an abortion can be performed but had never been enforced.

"We are persuaded by the reasoning contained in the Supreme Court cases which have found parental notification statutes constitutional under federal substantive due process and equal protection law," Justice Anne Burke wrote in the opinion.

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