6 Things You Need to Know About Abortion in Illinois If You Are Under 18


  1. Under Illinois law if you decide to have an abortion and you are under 18 your doctor must notify an “adult family member” before you can have the abortion.
  2. An “adult family member” is someone who is your parent, grandparent, step-parent who lives with you, or your legal guardian. With your permission,the doctor can tell whichever adult family member you choose.
    Notification just means that your doctor lets the adult family member of your choice know that you will have an abortion. The adult family member does not have to give you permission to get the abortion and does not have the right to tell you that you cannot get the abortion.
  4. You do not have to notify an adult family member if:
    • an adult family member goes to the doctor with you or gives up their right to notice in writing.
    • your doctor decides that there is a medical emergency.
    • you give your medical provider a written statement that says you are a victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect by your adult family member.
    • you are married, divorced, widowed or emancipated.
    • you get an order from the court, after a successful “judicial bypass” hearing, that says you don’t have to give notice.

  6. A “judicial bypass” is when a judge gives an order that allows a minor to have an abortion without notifying an adult family member. The judicial bypass hearing is free, fast and confidential. You also have a right to a free lawyer.
  7. The ACLU of Illinois Judicial Bypass Coordination Project has FREE lawyers who are specially trained to help minors who want a judicial bypass. You can call, text or email for information on the parental notice law and the judicial bypass process or for a FREE lawyer.