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 By Kathleen Gilbert

CHICAGO, January 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An Illinois Federal Circuit Court heard arguments from lawyers with the Chicago-based Thomas More Law Society (TMS) this week as they continue to challenge an injunction barring enforcement of the state’s parental notification law for minors seeking an abortion.

TMS Chief Counsel Thomas Brejcha argued against the ACLU in Chicago’s Seventh Circuit court Wednesday that Illinois’ long-inactive parental notification law should be allowed to stop cycles of sexual abuse by safeguarding minors from being coerced by sexual predators into having abortions without telling their parents.

Though Illinois law currently requires parental consent before a minor can obtain an abortion, the law has not been enforced since 1995, when a federal court issued an injunction signed by pro-abortion governor James Edgar. The injunction stated that the law should remain inactive due to the lack of provision for an appeals process in extraordinary cases.

However, the Illinois Supreme Court refused to correct the technicality, and the law remained in limbo until a newly reconstituted Supreme Court, whose judges had all been replaced except one, issued the needed appeals process rules three years ago.

Since then, the ACLU has defended the legal gag with several arguments, the latest of which claims that the state has no authority to transfer consent to the minor in any event – reasoning Brejcha called “hogwash.”

“Illinois law is specific that a pregnant minor can consent to any medical procedure” having been deemed mature enough, Brejcha explained to LifeSiteNews.com.  “She could agree to have heart surgery without her parents having any say in it.”  Brejcha is now appealing with state Attorney General Lisa Madigan to overturn the court ruling that favored the ACLU argument. 

The TMS lawyer said the case had a “special poignancy and significance” for Midwest pro-lifers.

“Our state has become a ‘safe haven’ for abortion-minded predators (and boyfriends’ parents) who whisk girls into our state – so far, with utter impunity – to evade their own states’ parental notice or consent laws,” Brejcha told LifeSiteNews, adding that Illinois is the only state in the Midwest with no active law protecting parents’ right to notification of their child’s abortion. 

Brejcha called the recent delays “unconscionable,” and lamented the fact that a law that could have saved countless young mothers and unborn lives from violence, though “on the books,” has yet to be enforced, thanks to irresponsible public officials.   

“Illinois is getting quite a reputation of dereliction of duty,” said Brejcha.  “This is just a different sort of dereliction.”

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