Latest attempt to eliminate parental notice in Illinois fails once more

By Dave Andrusko

A tremendous victory in Illinois, where pro-abortionists have tried for decades to eliminate a law requiring teenagers to notify a parent before undergoing an abortion.

The Belleville News-Democrat‘s Sarah Mansur reported today that “A bill to repeal the parental notification requirement for young girls seeking an abortion didn’t come up for a vote.” Naturally, the bills were filed by pro-abortion Democrats.

According to Mansur

House and Senate Democrats filed bills — House Bill 1797 and Senate Bill 2091— to repeal a 1995 abortion law that requires girls under the age of 18 who are seeking an abortion to notify their parents at least 48 hours before the procedure, with some exceptions.

In fact, the law has numerous exceptions, which undercut the notion that it was essential to eliminate a law that has been on the books for 26 years and in effect since 2013. For example, as Mansur writes, the law has a judicial bypass  that “allows for minors to obtain a court waiver, if the minor can show she is mature and well-informed enough to make the decision to obtain an abortion, or that it is not in their best interest to notify an adult family member.”

It is difficult to find any new polling on the issue of parental notice or consent, but in 2011 Gallup asked

Next, do you favor or oppose each of the following proposals? A law requiring women under 18 to get parental consent for any abortion

A whopping 71% were in favor. Parental consent is different than parental notification, and approval for the latter would presumably be even greater.

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 latest onslaught was aided by a report issued in March 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.”

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.

Congratulations to Illinois pro-lifers.