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Abortion Restriction Closer to Enforcement

CHICAGO (CN) - A Cook County Judge has lifted a temporary restraining order on a state law that requires a girl's guardians to be notified before she has an abortion, but allowed time for appeals before the law goes into effect.

The 1995 Parental Notice Act has never been enforced. It requires doctors to notify the guardians of a minor girl 48 hours before she gets an abortion, but the girl can bypass parental notification by going to a judge.

Cook County Judge Daniel Riley said the law is "an unfortunate piece of legislation" that discriminates between minors who choose to give birth and those who choose to have an abortion. But Riley found the law constitutional.

In lifting the TRO, Riley said he would grant a stay on enforcement pending the conclusion of appeals in the Illinois Appellate Court.

The American Civil Liberties Union claimed the law would cause significant harm to some girls. The Illinois Attorney General's office argued that those arguments are weak and the reasons for the law are good.

The law was passed in 1995, but was not enforced because the Illinois Supreme Court did not issue rules specifying how judges would handle the notification requirement. Those rules were issued in 2006.

In 2009, a federal judge continued to bar the law, finding that it still did not give girls workable judicial options to notifying their parents. A federal appeals court lifted the injunction in July 2009 and Riley issued the restraining order in November, hours after the state's Medical Disciplinary Board voted to enforce the law.

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