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Illinois parental notify law for abortions delayed

By Illinois Public Radio

Chicago, Ill. – A federal judge has ruled underage women in Illinois can get abortions without notifying a parent, at least for the time being.

Illinois' parental notification rule has had an on-again, off-again history. And for the time being, it's off-again.

Lawmakers passed a notification rule back in 1995. They wanted to prevent girls from getting abortions without telling parents.

But no one enforced that rule for a decade because the state's highest court hadn't provided a way to handle appeals by girls who didn't want to inform a parent.

Recently, Illinois' high court laid out how that appeal process should go, and abortion opponents looked forward to the law being enforced.

But now, a federal judge stopped it again. He says every county court needs specific rules on how to protect girls' privacy and how to handle appeals quickly.

"We're delighted with the court's ruling," said Lori Chaiten, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. "We think that this is the only ruling that really does protect the health and well-being of the young women in our state."

The ruling denies a request by Attorney General Lisa Madigan to put the law in effect. Madigan's office was not immediately available for comment.