By Dave Andrusko
Pro-abortionists have fought Illinois’ “Parental Notice of Abortion Act” without letup since its passage in 1983 (over the veto of then-Gov. James Thompson) and its update in 1995. The law did not go into effect until 2013, following a host of legal challenges up to and including the state Supreme Court which unanimously ruled in its favor.
The law “requires that abortion providers notify the parents of a minor seeking an abortion at least 48 hours before the scheduled abortion, except in certain cases where the minor could not notify a family member,” The Catholic News Agency reported. “A minor may also seek a judge’s approval to bypass the notification requirement.”
The latest onslaught was aided by a report issued last week by The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, in partnership with Human Rights Watch, which (of course) concluded the law is “dangerous for youth in the state, violates their human rights, and threatens their health and safety.”
The Alton Telegraph reports that “State Sen. Elgie Sims Jr. and state Rep. Anna Moeller have introduced measures in both General Assembly chambers aimed at repealing the law. It is expected to be debated in May.”
Opponents of the repeal effort vigorously responded, laying out how effective the law has worked in practice. For example, in a March 16th call to action letter, the Catholic bishops of Illinois warned that repeal would lead to “tragic and irreversible outcomes.”
In every other facet of life, we are taught–and we teach–that parental involvement is key to the child’s best interest. Repealing the Act is nothing less than an invasion into the sacred space of family life by the state, with no provision to support the minor emotionally, humanly or materially at a critical moment in her life.
The Bishops go on to argue that
Simply put, the Parental Notice of Abortion Act works. According to statistics gathered by the Illinois Department of Public Health, since the law’s final enactment by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2013, abortions performed on minors in Illinois have decreased over 30 percent. The lives saved by this law are real and present among us.
These are the reasons every state in the Midwest and 37 states overall have laws requiring some form of parental involvement in the decision of a minor to have an abortion. Illinois has been among those states for 8 years and no obvious problems or detriments have been publicly exposed. The repeal of Parental Notice of Abortion is a tragic solution in search of a problem.