Abortion notification ruled constitutional

Update: 10:02 pm
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois joins 38 other states requiring doctors tell parents if their daughter is getting an abortion. The Illinois Supreme Court found the law constitutional.


Minors in Illinois have curfews. They can't watch some movies in theaters without an adult present. Lawmakers want to keep them out of UV tanning beds, and now girls 17 and under can't get an abortion without their parents knowing about it.


"Abortion is one of the safest procedures that there is, much safer than tanning. Tanning causes cancer. Abortion does not," Planned Parenthood's Pamela Sutherland said.


Those against the ruling say it violates privacy and gender-equality rights because girls should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and pregnancies.  But Catherine Caughlin, of Springfield Right to Life, disagrees.


"All parents should have a right to know what their children are doing. And I think that a parent's guidance is helpful if a girl is considering an abortion, that they can help her see other alternatives," Caughlin said.


Caughlin says the decision to abort is far too great for a girl to make alone.


"Abortion is not a simple medical procedure. It leaves women emotionally and psychologically scarred," Caughlin said.


Sutherland says this law could do more harm than good.


"What this law is going to do is actually put a young woman at greater risk because it delays when she can have the abortion. And it's always best, the earlier the better," said Sutherland.


Under the Parental Notice of Abortion Act, parents must sign a form acknowledging they've been notified from their daughter's doctor. That form becomes a permanent part of the girl's medical record.

But, a girl could go before a judge for a waiver to determine if she's mature and informed enough to not contact her parents and to go through with the abortion. The law takes effect in 35 days.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports nearly 40,000 women had abortions in 2011. Slightly more than 16% were teens 17 or younger.

Original: 6:00 pm
ILLINOIS -- The Illinois Supreme Court finally ended the long debate over an abortion notification law. Doctors in Illinois will now have to notify a girl's parent or guardian 48-hours before performing an abortion.

The court found parental notification laws to be constitutional so, under the Parental Notice of Abortion Act, doctors of girl's younger than 18, must notify a parent. A girl could get a waiver if a judge feels it's against her best interest. The law goes into effect in 35-days.

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