A parental notification of abortion bill came up short in the House yesterday, scoring just 55 votes of the 60 needed.
Favored by abortion-rights groups, the initiative that failed 55-62 was designed to broaden the pool of adults that pregnant girls could contact to fulfill a dormant 1995 parental-notification law.
That law, which is before a federal court and could soon be enforced, requires females under 18 to notify an adult relative or receive approval from a judge. The legislation voted on Thursday would have allowed minors in dysfunctional families to notify an aunt or uncle or meet with a health professional instead.
“This is not a referendum on abortion,” said Rep. John Fritchey, the bill’s lead sponsor. “It is a referendum on protecting the health and safety of young women.”
There was lots of heated debate…
â€œItâ€™s really irresponsible for people on the other side to characterize any of us as pro-abortion,â€ said state Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, a Des Plaines Republican who voted for the plan. â€œThatâ€™s not where weâ€™re going with this. What we want to do is protect young women. We want to protect them from going to the wrong place if they do seek an abortion.â€
Critics argued the proposal didnâ€™t do enough to help young girls in what could be one of the most important decisions theyâ€™ll ever make. They also said teenagers should have a compelling reason, such as incest or other dangers, for wanting to go around telling their parents, something more than embarrassment or fear of parental retribution.
â€œIâ€™m her father â€¦ and I should know about it,â€ said state Rep. Robert Molaro, a Chicago Democrat and the father of three teen daughters, who voted against the plan.
And also lots of charges and counter-charges from both sides, including claims of death threats…
Opponents suggested Fritchey was trying to torpedo any notification law by leaving out language that lets courts rule part of the law unconstitutional without striking down the whole measure. Omitting that language could mean that any small legal flaw would nullify the entire law.
Fritchey said working on the measure was the “worst experience” of his legislative career. He said the proposal inspired people to lie, spew hatred and even make death threats.
From Lee Newspapers…
All central Illinois lawmakers voted against the legislation… All Southern Illinois lawmakers voted against the legislation.