Abortion Is No Minor Matter; Parental Notice Is a Right in Illinois and Everywhere Else

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 23, 2010 | Go to article overview

Abortion Is No Minor Matter; Parental Notice Is a Right in Illinois and Everywhere Else


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

It's monstrous to suggest abortions should be easier for minors to procure than other surgical procedures. Enter the American Civil Liberties Union. After losing in federal court, the ACLU has found new ways to delay a 1995 Illinois law requiring parental (or legal guardian) notification before subjecting minors to abortion. Americans United for Life has come to the rescue with a new friend of the court brief.

American law doesn't ordinarily confer full autonomy on minors. As the Encyclopedia of Everyday Law explains, In general, for most medical procedures, the parent or legal guardian of the minor still has to grant consent in order for the procedure to be performed. While the state can challenge a parent's decision to refuse medically necessary treatment and can in some cases win the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the child, the minor can not make his or her own medical decisions.

That's plan old-fashioned common sense. As the U.S. Supreme Court explained in Roper v. Simmons (2005), Minors possess a lack of maturity and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility, which result in impetuous and ill-considered actions and decisions.

Nonetheless, even after the Illinois law was upheld by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the ACLU - on behalf of the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Ill. - filed suit in state court to block the law. The ACLU said the law offends the state constitution if not the U.S. Constitution, and, There is no justification for the law. Absurdly, the ACLU asserts, Minors seeking abortion services independently of their parents are sufficiently mature to provide informed consent. …

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