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Parental Notice Law Overview

Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Law

While you can have an abortion when you are under 18 without getting the consent (permission) of your parent or guardian, the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion law requires your doctor to notify an adult family member (someone over 21 who is your parent, grandparent, step-parent who lives with you, or a legal guardian) 48 hours before performing the abortion. However, they DO NOT have to tell anyone if:

  • Either parent, any grandparent, a step-parent who lives with you, or a legal guardian goes to the doctor with you.
  • Either parent, any grandparent, a step-parent who lives with you, or a legal guardian gives up their right to notice in writing.
  • You give your medical provider a written statement that says you are a victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect by either parent, any grandparent, a step-parent who lives with you, or a legal guardian. If you provide this written statement, be aware that your medical provider may be required to report your abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Family Services after your abortion.
  • The doctor decides that there is a medical emergency.
  • You are married, divorced or widowed. You must be at least 16 and have consent from both parents in order to get married in Illinois.
  • You are emancipated. Your petition for emancipation was approved by a judge because you are at least 16 and can show that your are mature enough to manage your own affairs or you are a homeless minor in Illinois, and you are fully or mostly independent of your parents or guardian.
  • You get a parental notice waiver from the court after a successful “judicial bypass” hearing.

You can choose to notify whichever adult family member (someone who is your parent, grandparent, step-parent who lives with you, or a legal guardian) you want to. You only have to notify one of these people.

What is Notification?

Notification just means informing. The law does not require that an adult family member give consent (permission) for you to have an abortion. If you tell an adult family member and they disagree with your decision, you can still have the abortion.

If you decide to notify an adult family member, your clinic or doctor can give notice to the adult family member:

    • In person
    • By phone
    • By certified mail (Only if notice in person or by phone is not possible after reasonable effort)

If you are unable or unwilling to tell an adult family member about your decision to have an abortion, you can request a judicial bypass from the court.

You should NEVER give false information as a way to get out of the “parental notice” requirement.