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Illinois' Hope Clinic Challenge: Does Abortion Law Exist Under Its Own Kind of Federalism?

Written by Jessica Mason Pieklo forRH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

At its most basic level, the decision in Roe v. Wade guaranteed women in every state the right to chose an abortion. Usually the impact of the decision is discussed in the context of expanding rights of women in states that had previously criminalized abortion care. But some states, like Illinois, actually provide greater privacy protections for women than recognized inRoe and later Planned Parenthood v. Casey. So what happens when a legislature passes an abortion restriction that may be in line with federal precedent but conflicts with state constitutional protections? We're about to find out.

In Illinois, pregnant minors generally enjoy the same rights to consent to medical care as adults do. That means they can make nearly every decision concerning the pregnancy without parental involvement. Pregnant minors can also consent to place their child up for adoption without parental notification, involvement, or consent. In fact, throughout the entire course of her pregnancy, a minor can access and consent to a panoply of care without her parents involvement -- unless of course she wants to terminate that pregnancy. Then, and only then, does the state of Illinois require a pregnant minor to notify her parents.


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