Case: Hope Clinic v. Adams

09CH38661 | Illinois state trial court

Filed Date: Oct. 13, 2009

Closed Date: Aug. 22, 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 13, 2009, plaintiffs, the Hope Clinic for Women and Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Reproductive Health, on behalf of themselves and their minor patients, filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County against the Acting Secretary and Director of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, as well as the Illinois State Medical Board. The plaintiffs sought to enjoin enforcement of the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 (“the Ac…

On October 13, 2009, plaintiffs, the Hope Clinic for Women and Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Reproductive Health, on behalf of themselves and their minor patients, filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County against the Acting Secretary and Director of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, as well as the Illinois State Medical Board. The plaintiffs sought to enjoin enforcement of the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 (“the Act”). The Act required that when a minor seeks to obtain an abortion, a physician must notify an adult family member living in the household, such as a parent or grandparent or legal guardian, of the minor’s intention to terminate their pregnancy. Notification, though, was not required when a minor goes to court to receive a judicial waiver or a minor certifies that they are a victim of physical or sexual abuse. Seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, the plaintiffs contended that the Act restricted minors’ access to abortion, thereby violating the right to privacy, substantive due process, equal protection, and gender equality clauses of the Illinois Constitution. The case was assigned to Judge Daniel A. Riley.

On October 29, 2009, this Court issued a TRO pending a hearing on a preliminary injunction. The defendants then filed their Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or, in the alternative, to Dismiss on November 12, 2009. The defendants argued that judgment on the pleadings was appropriate because (1) the plaintiffs were precluded from relitigating claims they had lost in a previous federal litigation and (2) the plaintiffs failed to state a valid, facial challenge to the Act. 

On March 29, 2010, the Court granted the defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and dismissed the case with prejudice. The TRO was dissolved. On collateral estoppel grounds, the Court found that the plaintiffs' equal protection and due process issues were sufficiently decided in the prior federal litigation (see Zbaraz v. Madigan, 572 F.3d 370, where the 1995 Act’s predecessor, the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1983, was found to be “defective,” leading to its eventual repeal by the Illinois legislature) so as to preclude their current claims. The Court, though, still considered whether the Act violated the Illinois Constitution's rights to privacy and gender equality. The Court did not accept the plaintiffs’ privacy challenge for it saw that, based on federal privacy standards, the State of Illinois had a valid legislative reason for enacting the statute: notification of a pregnant minor's adult family members is in the minor’s best interest and is reasonable. The Court also did not accept the plaintiffs’ gender equality argument, determining that nothing in the language or history of the Act entailed that the State was imposing stereotypical views of womanhood on minors. The Court stayed its order and the dissolution for 60 days in order to provide the plaintiffs an opportunity to appeal. 2010 WL 1198356. 

On April 28, 2010, the trial court denied plaintiffs' motion to reconsider and to vacate the March 29 judgment. On May 27, 2010, the plaintiffs then appealed the trial court's orders, from both March 29 and April 28. 

On appeal, on June 17, 2011, the Illinois State Appellate Court determined that the trial court erred in dismissing plaintiffs' equal protection and due process claims, finding that the issues presented in this case differed from those presented in the prior federal litigation. The appellate court also reversed the trial court’s order on the privacy claim, finding that the federal privacy right cannot be coextensive with the state privacy right due to the explicit privacy clause on the Illinois state constitution. The appellate court reversed and remanded the trial court’s gender equality order, determining that the lower court did not engage in strict scrutiny review. 955 N.E.2d 511. 

The defendants then appealed the appellate court’s order to the Illinois Supreme Court. On July 11, 2013, the Supreme Court of Illinois reviewed the trial court’s order, ultimately affirming the trial court’s judgment which dismissed the complaint. Looking to the enactment of the privacy clause in the state constitution, the state supreme court rejected the plaintiffs' premise and determined that the right to abortion in Illinois was not grounded in the privacy clause; therefore, a right to abortion in Illinois could not be guaranteed by the state constitution's privacy clause. As for due process and equal protection, although the Illinois Supreme Court concluded that the trial court did indeed err in precluding these claims based on collateral estoppel, on the merits, the state supreme court rejected the plaintiffs’ contentions. The state supreme court determined that the state constitution’s clauses mirrored the federal constitution’s provisions; since challenges to the constitutionality of parental notification statutes brought on federal grounds had been rejected based on the Supreme Court's finding that parental notification serves compelling state interests, the Illinois Supreme Court followed suit. The Illinois Supreme Court also found that the Act did not violate the gender equality clause of the state constitution due to the lack of a sex-based classification within the Act. The state supreme court stated that it failed to see how the alleged discrimination against pregnant minors who choose an abortion was in any way related to their gender. 991 N.E.2d 745. 

The Supreme Court’s mandate to dismiss the complaint resulted in the closure of this case in 2013. However, as of June 2022, the Act has been repealed. Minors are no longer required to notify an adult family member in order to access an abortion in Illinois.

Summary Authors

Kavitha Babu (3/25/2024)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

09CH38661

Docket

Oct. 13, 2009

Oct. 13, 2009

Docket

09CH38661

Verified Complaint

Oct. 13, 2009

Oct. 13, 2009

Complaint

09CH38661

Memorandum Opinion and Order

March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010

Order/Opinion

1–10–1463

1–10–1576

Opinion

Illinois state appellate court

June 17, 2011

June 17, 2011

Order/Opinion

955 N.E.2d 955

112673

Opinion

Hope Clinic v. Flores

Illinois state supreme court

July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013

Order/Opinion

991 N.E.2d 991

Docket

Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 1:51 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Reproductive Issues

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 13, 2009

Closing Date: Aug. 22, 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Hope Clinic for Women and Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Reproductive Health, on behalf of themselves and their minor patients.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Illinois State Medical Board, State

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, State

Defendant Type(s):

Hospital/Health Department

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

None

Order Duration: 2009 - 2010

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

Reproductive rights:

Parental notification

Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)

Abortion