Citing serious and irreversible harm to teens, the ACLU asked an Illinois state court on October 13, 2009, to strike down the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act that prevents teens from having an abortion unless they notify a parent or go to court.
We all want our daughters to be safe and to come to us if they become pregnant. When faced with a pregnancy, most teens do talk to a parent, but the reality is not all teens have parents they can turn to. Not all homes are safe homes. Not all parents are good parents; some are abusive or violent and would threaten their daughter’s health and safety if she told them she was pregnant. Yet we know that teens who can’t turn to a parent almost always seek support from another adult.
Laws like the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act are not only unnecessary they jeopardize the health and safety of the most vulnerable teens who can’t safely turn to a parent or for whom going to court is not a realistic option. That’s why leading medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, strongly and publicly oppose these sorts of laws. If our daughters can’t come to us for whatever reason, the most important thing is that they are safe and get the care that they need.
Plaintiffs in the case are Hope Clinic for Women Ltd. and Dr. Allison Cowett, the Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Reproductive Health, on behalf of themselves and their minor patients.