Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed into law a bill (HB 370) repealing the state’s parental notification law. Illinois had required parents be notified if their minor daughter was attempting to get an abortion 48 hours prior to the procedure. Minors were previously allowed to seek a judge’s permission to bypass the parental notification requirement.
Soon, young girls in Illinois will be able to abort their preborn babies in secret, and their parents won’t have to know – and won’t be able to counsel them about their decision.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki, the Catholic bishop of Springfield, Illinois, called the bill’s signing “a dark and disgraceful moment in the history of the State of Illinois.”
“It is striking how much this legislation does to provide cover, secrecy, and darkness over evil deeds,” Bishop Paprocki added. “This legislative action violates the most fundamental rights and duties entrusted by God to parents to ensure the health and safety of their children.”
Indeed, the repeal of the notification act in Illinois is a direct attack on the family and will harm the young women considering abortion, their parents, and their preborn babies.
In a press release following the signing, Governor Pritzker touted the law as a part of his effort to promote abortions in the state.
“With reproductive rights under attack across the nation, Illinois is once again establishing itself as a leader in ensuring access to healthcare services,” Pritzker said.
But calling abortion a “healthcare service” is disingenuous and false. Real healthcare is the utilization of science and technology to preserve life. Abortion always ends a life.
Additionally, Gov. Pritzker’s office attempted to spin the new law as a positive development for children.
“Rescinding the Parental Notification Act (PNA) ensures that while a pregnant minor can choose to involve a family member or legal guardian in their decision to have or not have an abortion … [they] are not compelled to do so under the law,” the press release noted.
But it is the job of parents to counsel and assist their children; kids benefit from their advice and help, most especially when the situations they are facing are important and life changing, like an unplanned pregnancy.
It’s preciously in these situations when children need their parents the most. Illinois’ new law separate children from the counsel and wisdom of their parents.
In Illinois, there are numerous services and activities that are illegal for minors to access, and all of them are more trivial than the consequential decision to get an abortion.
In 2013, former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that prohibits minors from indoor tanning salons. Illinois also prohibits anyone under age 18 from purchasing lottery tickets.
Additionally, minors in Illinois cannot get a body piercing without the written consent of a parent or legal guardian.
And of course, nationwide individuals cannot buy cigarettes or purchase alcohol until age 21.
But if a minor in Illinois wants to abort their preborn baby, they can do it with their parent’s consent or knowledge starting on June 1, 2022, when HB 370 takes effect.
According to data reported from the Illinois Department of Public Health, there were 42,441 abortions in the state in 2018, of which 5,668 were from residents who traveled from out-of-state to Illinois to get an abortion.
The Guttmacher Institute, which is Planned Parenthood’s research arm, reports that 38 states require parental involvement in a minor’s decision to get an abortion, of which 21 require the consent of at least one parent.
The 38 states that Guttmacher Institute reports have parental notification laws will drop to 37 following the enactment of HB 370.
Though Illinois’ elimination of the parental notification requirement is a tragic move with harmful consequences, pro-life supporters can be encouraged that 2021 was a banner year for the pro-life movement.
Guttmacher reports that an astonishing 106 new pro-life laws were enacted this year alone. This far surpasses the previous record, set in 2011, of 89 new pro-life laws passed in one year.
With the U.S. Supreme Court currently considering whether to reverse in part, or in whole, Roe v. Wade, hopefully the expansion of legal protections for preborn babies is just beginning.
If you’re considering an abortion and want to talk with someone, Focus on the Family offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.
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Photo from Reuters.