Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Question of the day
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Question of the day

Friday, Dec 16, 2005 - Posted by Rich Miller

I thought this was a nifty bit of spin.

Topinka, who favors abortion rights, and Birkett also said they agree on one aspect of the abortion debate: the need for a state law that requires parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion.

“This is an invasive procedure and parents should be involved,” Topinka said, adding that any law should allow for minors to ask a judge for an exception.

Both criticized Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich on the issue, saying he supports parental consent for minors getting tattoos but not for abortion.

Blagojevich’s spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said the governor does not support such a notification law because he believes minors who become pregnant after they were raped by a stepfather or other relative should not be forced to tell a parent or a judge.

Further, she said, “To compare rape and incest to tattoos shows a complete lack of understanding and sensitivity of the issue.”

Even though bringing rape and incest into the equation avoids talking about well over 95 percent of the parental consent issue, I thought it was a pretty good pivot.

What do you think about the comparison between the two parental consent issues? Can it be an effective attack on the governor? What do you think about the governor’s response?


  1. - 6 Degrees of Separation - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 2:35 am:

    If some form of parental notification (with exceptions allowing 3rd party intervention in cases of alleged rape or incest) were put before the voters of the state in a non-binding referendum, I think it would pass, but not with super-majority numbers.

    However, I don’t think a position either for or against parental notification is a dealbreaker for voters, except for the 10% or so on either side of the issue for whom it is a litmus test. Rod and Judy probably traded an equal amount of dealbreaker votes with their stated positions, so the issue hurts neither and helps solidify each’s base a little bit.

  2. - girl friday - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 5:21 am:

    Minors who “become pregnant after they were raped by a stepfather or other relative” should be forced to tell a parent or a judge or the police. This is a crime after all. Should the minor not say anything and continue to get raped again and again. What if she has sisters? Is this still okay for her not to say anything?

    Personally, I think his response if off base. He is more worried about minors buying bad video games.

  3. - Tertius - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 6:37 am:

    The difference is that Illinois, like most states, has a policy allowing minors to determine their own medical treatment. I believe anyone over the age of 13 can consent to their own treatment without a parent.

    This is actually a pretty good law, in that it avoids having Junior bleeding in the ER with medical staff unable to treat him because they can’t find a parent to give the okay. In contrast, I remeber when I was a kid having the school make everyone carry around a signed parent consent form, because the state I lived in required parental consent for all medical procedures on minors.

    Merits of any new laws aside, there is a pretty clear distinction between tattooing, a non-medical procedure, and an abortion.

  4. - Outraged, again - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 7:06 am:

    So does this mean that the governor condones incest and rape by relatives? What does he think, get rid of the evidence and everything will be ok? For god’s sake, a terrible crime might have been committed and he’s only concerned about how it looks and plays out. Time for retirement.

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 7:37 am:

    This is not good spin. It is the media not knowing the facts. In the case of rape and incest, a minor can get an abortion in Illinois and every other state without going to court, no questions asked. This is true under the dormant Illinois law or other parental notification laws out there. The media let Blago’s people play them.

  6. - shelbyville - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 7:39 am:

    You are right about the age of 13 and medical treatment. I once took a minor in for drug and alcohol evaluation and it was illegal to tell me what the results were (of my son), if he did not sign a waver.

  7. - Old Elephant - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 7:57 am:

    The spin is pretty much standard stuff. What’s more interesting is how deftly Topinka is moving to the middle and how reactive the Blagojevich people are.

    The “incest victim” argument is standard rhetoric for the far left pro-abortion on demand folks. It’s b.s. that ignores the reality of parental notice laws. What’s significant is that instead of moving to the middle, Blago’s people seem to be catering to the left. Obvious conclusion is that they are worried about their base deserting them and are spending their time shoring up the base.

    Topinka is working her base as well — picking a social conservative as a running mate. But, she’s also taking the position that 70% of the public supports. In the general election, she’ll have a position that is mainstream, but Blagojevich will be locked into one that is popular only with the “Lakefront Liberals.”

    Aside from the issue itself, this is interesting because of the styles both campaigns seem to be showing. As I said, Blago’s people are incredibly reactive — they just can’t resist commenting negatively on everything. This is great fun when you are on the opposing team because you can drive the agenda and know that your opponent’s first reaction is to disagree with anything you say.

    It remains to be seen if Topinka can maintain this same discipline and focus when she’s under attack from her primary opponents. If she does, she could actually come out of the primary with a majority rather than a plurality.

  8. - Lady Luck - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 8:18 am:

    If parents must be notified, they should also be held responsible for rasing their grandchild.

  9. - Pat Collins - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 8:33 am:

    Lady Luck, you are forgetting the “adoption option”.

    And will they discuss how the IL Supreme Court’s refusal to make rules have placed the 1995 law in limbo? Use that against the next judge up for election….

  10. - Lady Luck - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 9:34 am:

    Yes Pat you are right…the grandparents should adopt.

  11. - the Other Anonymous - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 9:34 am:

    The pro-choice folks have made it pretty clear that they were not supporting Topinka, and have even demonized her as vehemently pro-life. This frees her up from having to cater to either side — a huge advantage since both the pro-life and pro-choice interest groups require 100% compliance with their positions, even the more extreme ones.

    Topinka is playing it right; and the Blagojevich response is actually a pretty clever spin on the standard play-book. (I am surprised that they didn’t come back with something like “85% of all minors already tell their parents.”)

    Overall, though, Topinka is the winner. If she comes out of the primary, the pro-lifers will grudgingly vote for her because the pro-choicers have come out so strongly for Blagojevich. Remember George Ryan? The pro-choicers ended supporting him — despite his role in killing the ERA, and despite his strongly stated pro-life position — simply because they considered the alternative much, much worse.

  12. - Jill Stanek - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 10:01 am:

    Tertius, 6:37a; Shelbyville, 7:39a: There is no minor age restriction in IL for abortion. A 9-year-old girl can abort with no questions asked. In 2003, for instance, 287 girls aged 14 and under aborted in IL.

    Tertius, 6:37a: Your example of “Junior bleeding in the ER with medical staff unable to treat him” is erroneous. While parental notification in medical emergencies is optimum, it does not stop drs. from treating critically ill minors, just as lack of consent would not stop drs. from treating people old enough but unable to consent.

    Anonymous, 7:37a: It is not true that “a minor can get an abortion in Illinois and every other state without going to court, no questions asked.” According to Alan Guttmacher Institute (research arm of Planned Parenthood), 33 states currently have parental notification/consent laws (with concurrent judicial bypass procedures) in place.

    Old Elephant, 7:57a: I agree.

  13. - Anon - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 10:15 am:

    the Other Anonymous, will an IP check reveal your location as Topinka’s or Kjellander’s office?

    Both Topinka and Blagojevich have clear, long-standing records as unreconstructed pro-choice candidates… the difference, to the pro-choice lobby, is that Blago can and has delivered the goods, and the lobby shrewdly knows where its bread is buttered.

    To say that because the pro-choice lobby has abandoned Topinka, the result is that the pro-life voters will grudgingly support her is not only illogical but contradicted by the historical record that you misstate. Rich Williamson was in the same position when he ran for the Senate, but pro-life voters did not accept him as the better alternative or support him strongly in the polls. George Ryan had a 20+ year record as a pro-life politician and mendaciously promised the pro-life lobby that he would continue as one in the Governor’s mansion. That is why he got the pro-life vote, which every pro-life leader has since bitterly regretted.

    Pro-lifers will not grudgingly vote for Topinka; they will stay home in droves.

  14. - Logical - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 10:16 am:

    While comparing rape and incest with having a tatto is like comparing apples to oranges, it is the possibly resulting abortion that is the concern. A tattoo is an external procedure that can have medical complications, but an abortion is an internal procedure. The possible complications from the abortion procedure are generally far worse than any complication from tattoos. Don’t misunderstand, the tattoo law is a good law, it is the Gov’s responses to the abortion notification law that is off base.

  15. - Anon - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 10:23 am:

    Tertius doesn’t get it, and Blago has simply made a stupid rhetorical point.

    Tattooing is not medicine, but it is an invasive procedure with health risks. Abortion has a statistical mortality rate, and other serious medical complications are at risk. Parents are entitled to be involved in this serious decision with medical complications. By the way, abortion is almost never medically necessary. Also the election to abort is not equivalent to a life-threatening medical emergency.

    And I think the public in general understands it this way.

  16. - WAY DOWNSTATE - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 10:34 am:

    So if a stepfather rapes his stepdaughter the mother does not know anything about the abortion.The daughter is to ashamed to tell her and the stepfather is free to do it again.Good going Governor.Now you know why I am going to camp out all night so I can be the first one to vote you out of office.

  17. - Ray Coleman - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 1:11 pm:

    I had the good fortune of attending JBT, and Burkett’s stop in the metro-east yesterday. They compliment each other well. The abortion issue was mainly addressed by Burkett. I think he scored some good points. Blagojevich’s response was good spin, but he lost this round.

    There is another point that needs to be pointed out; Burkett spoke about his tough prosecuting background that’s non-partisan. He made it clear that he will focus on weeding corruption out of the Governor’s office and state government as a whole. It appears Burkett is going to be the attack dog for JBT. They appear to be confident and know the public will be looking at trust as a major issue this election cycle.

  18. - Josh - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 1:23 pm:

    You know who else is better than Burkett Ray? BIRKETT. Geez.

  19. - VanillaMan - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 1:24 pm:

    JBT and Burkett made their point clearly: Blagojevich is against tattoos for teens, and they shouldn’t eat junk food or see video games, but when it comes to having an abortion without family consent, his response is “OK!”

    They correctly point out the inconsistencies in Blagojevich’s pro-abortion stand, while moving towards the political middle.

    Well done!

    Finally, I’d like to compliment their public statements regarding corruption in the government. They are finally saying what needs to be said about this administration’s faux reforms.

  20. - The Colonel - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 1:46 pm:

    Carrot-top and Joe are merely tossing out some chum for conservatives.

    Won’t work.

  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 2:55 pm:

    To Anon @10:35am, who asks whether my IP address will point to either Topinka or Kjellander:

    You’d be surprised. The reason the post is anonymous is that I can provide an honest analysis, unburdened by the demands of my work history.

    For the record: I am not a government employee, I am a Democrat, and I am pro-choice with the credentials to prove it. I post anonymously so that, for example, I am not constrained by using rhetoric like “anti-choice.”

    As to the substance of your comment: I think you misunderstood the example of George Ryan. The point was not about who pro-lifers would support; the point was that there are examples of voters on one side of the issue (in GRyan’s case, pro-choice) voting for a candidate who was not in their corner (in the example, GRyan) because they thought the alternative was worse (in the example, Poshard).

    So, yes, GRyan ended getting both pro-choice and pro-life votes. I am simply suggesting that Topinka may be positioning herself in the same way: her long record as a moderate will get her pro-choice votes (althought not the support of pro-choice groups), while pro-life voters will end up voting for her because the alternative is worse. Pro-life groups might “sit on their hands,” but voters who happen to be pro-life will not.

  22. - Pat Collins - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 4:13 pm:

    gramps should adopt

    Why not anyone else who wants to? Lots of people who fail fertility adopt, or would like to….

  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 4:30 pm:

    The spin on this board is amazing.
    No parental notification or consent law in the country requires a minor to tell their parent in cases of rape and incest.
    The Blagojevich answer was a calculated red herring to deceive the media and public. We should expect more from our media to catch this kind of crap.

  24. - Puzzler - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 4:58 pm:

    I think the presumption that the parental notification law would result in fewer abortions because parents would talk their daughters out of abortions is ridiculous. I was a teenager in the 70’s and knew a lot of girls who had abortions - every one of their parents knew it and made sure they had access to birth control and more guidance so it didn’t happen again. When my children were teenagers, their friends were having abortions without their parents’ knowledge (my kids told me everything - at least about other kids). As a result, some of these kids had subsequent pregnancies and subsequent abortions or gave birth when they were way too young. When did parents become the enemy?

  25. - Team Sleep - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 5:03 pm:

    In America, well over 70% of the people polled agree that strict parental notification standards should be applied to “underage” abortions. But NOW and NARAL use their seemingly endless supply to attack these polls and turn everything into an emotional issue. That is a silly way to combat a near super majority of voters, and it has failed in most states. I think it would pass at least 60-40 in Illinois because most people, progessive or conservative, would not agree to allow a fourteen or fifteen year old to abort a fetus. People are too cynical and they know the way teenagers act and behave.

  26. - cermak_rd - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 6:56 pm:

    Perhaps parents should have the kind of relationship that makes minors WANT to tell their folks.

  27. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Dec 16, 05 @ 8:06 pm:

    Apparently, some folks in the blogosphere live in a “Leave It to Beaver” World.

    You don’t understand why 15 year-old Jane just doesn’t tell June and Ward that she’s in a “family way”, so that they can send her off to a school for unwed mothers for six months where she can give it up for adoption.

    Welcome to the real world.

    You see, Jane never knew Ward, because her biological father ran off before she was even born, so she never saw him.

    She sees alot of her stepfather, Harold, though. Since she was eight, Harold’s been slipping into her bedroom at night while her mom soaks in her nightly bath — which she needs to unwind after her 14 hour, two job workday.

    It’s Harold that put Jane in a family way. She found out after she missed her period two months in a row — her best friend bought her the pregnancy test, but she lied and said she was fine. She couldn’t tell her best friend, who would ask her all kinds of questions about which boy it was, and she certainly can’t tell her mom — deep down, she thinks her mom must know what Harold’s been doing, but because they need Harold’s paycheck to pay the rent, June doesn’t say a word to Harold and instead yells at Jane for “dressin’ like a whore’.

    The worst part is, Jane knows they need Harold’s paycheck too, and that’s why she knows she can’t tell her teacher, her pastor, the police, anybody.

    So Jane does the only thing she can do: she takes her own life.

    Far-fetched? From the Teen Care Center, which promotes abstinence:

    – The younger women are when they first have intercourse, the more likely they are to have had unwanted or involuntary first sex — 7 in 10 of those who had sex before age 13, for example.

    – It is estimated that between 35% and 60% of teenage mothers were sexually abused or had unwanted or coercive sexual experiences before pregnancy.

    In other words, early teen pregnancies are much more likely to be a result of unwanted sex. Given that 27% of women report that they were sexually abused as children, this is a much more far reaching problem than people want to admit. It would be great if more Christians were as interested in preventing child sex abuse as they are in preventing abortion.

    By the way, I’d encourage everybody who says “adoption is the answer” to let us know just how many children you’ve adopted. Hypocrites.

  28. - evilroy - Saturday, Dec 17, 05 @ 8:57 am:

    This Governor lives on “spin” and deception. It will be a pleasure to vote against him in 11 months. It can’t come fast enough!

    I think Ray Coleman said it well- Burkitt will be the attack dog, allowing JBT to stay above the fray. It will be interesting to see who in the Blago camp is the attack dog against JBT- because it is a real caculated damage control issue when attacking a female candidate. It can very easily blow up in their faces- so I suppose it will be Abbey Ottenhoff out on point on the real contensious stuff.

    Be careful Rod- you don’t want to piss off the soccer moms!

  29. - Truthful James - Saturday, Dec 17, 05 @ 2:20 pm:

    Birkett is a tough prosecuter, all right. Hanging on like a demented terrier to Rolando Cruz in order to cover up the ineptitude of his investigators and keeping the Nicarico family in thrall.

    Hispanic fund raisers anyone?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* End of session coverage roundup
* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Not a fake headline: Chicago FOP President describes working collaboratively with Chicago's mayor, legislature on pension legislation
* Planned Parenthood Illinois Action counts its wins
* Afternoon roundup
* Pritzker opposes fast-moving bill to hand Ameren a monopoly on building regional transmission lines
* AG Raoul pushes back against Cupich claims
* Budget react roundup
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Medicaid; Budget; Invest in Kids; Sims; BIMP; CPS
* Question of the day
* 2023 end of spring session cheat sheet
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller